Lebanon: Syrian Refugee Women Endure Daily Harassment, Violence and Exploitation
Saturday, February 6, 2016 9:00 AM

In Lebanon, one in four persons is a refugee from the Syrian conflict. This has placed an economic burden on the Lebanese government, which has restricted access to residence permits and required refugees to pay a US$200 fee to renew existing permits. Many of the refugees are women with children and who cannot easily find work. According to the organization Amnesty International (AI), these women are vulnerable to sexual exploitation in exchange for money and services. Female refugees in Lebanon are also subject to widespread sexual harassment and assault, including kidnapping and coerced marriages. Because of their precarious status, many refugee women are afraid to seek legal or police protection from the harassment they face. Many women also fear retribution, such as losing their homes or being further harassed by government officials.

AI made several recommendations to improve the lives of female Syrian refugees, including loosening restrictions on residence permits and reducing or eliminating the required US$200 renewal fee; pressuring other governments to meet or increase their aid obligations to reduce the economic stress on overwhelmed nations such as Lebanon; and resettlement of refugees most at risk, particularly women and children.

Compiled from: Why do refugee women from Syria in Lebanon face constant sexual harassment and exploitation?, Amnesty International (February 2, 2016).