Inside Story – New laws bar Syrians from taking refuge in Lebanon?

New residency laws in Lebanon risk exploitation and abuse for Syrian refugees.

That’s the warning from Human Rights Watch, which says the majority of Syrians who fled to Lebanon to escape persecution and war have in effect lost their legal status.

The Lebanese government is rejecting the HRW report.

Lebanon is hosting more than one million Syrian refugees.

Syrians over the age of 15 must now pay a fee of 200 dollars to renew residency permits.

On top of that, Syrians must find a sponsor to stay in Lebanon – which can cost a thousand dollars per person.

Human Rights Watch warns the Syrian community, which is already struggling to survive, could be pushed further underground, forced to work illegally and risk being abused.

So, will the crackdown deter more Syrians from leaving their war-torn country?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie

Guests:

Khalil Gebara – Adviser to Lebanon’s Interior Minister

Haley Bobseine – Lebanon researcher for Human Rights Watch

Anne Hammerstad – Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Kent and specialist in refugee movements and migration

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