For the first time in nine years the Lebanese political scene is mobilising for elections. Although little has changed in the overall makeup of Parliament, the 2018 parliamentary elections exhibit significant differences, with a record 976 registered candidates, 113 of whom are female. A number of both male and female registered candidates, came from outside traditional establishment parties and zu‘ama which have historically dominated Lebanese politics.
This policy brief outlines options for strengthening rule of law in Lebanon to improve access to justice for both Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees. It discusses stopgap measures for the temporary stay of Syrian refugees in the country and highlights opportunities for long-term reform of the justice system. The brief provides recommendations to key actors on actions to reduce the unsustainable pressure on the Lebanese justice system and to ensure protection of the displaced population.
This policy brief analyses the socio-political implications of the so-called October policies, and suggests legislative, political, and practical measures to improve the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It also aims to inform policy formulation regarding Syrian refugees from a human rights-based perspective, while discussing modalities for enhanced programming at the civil society level.
The 2015 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report highlights that in 2013, 147 countries received humanitarian assistance, with countries from the Arab region, particularly those affected by the Syrian crisis, being the highest beneficiaries of aid. More than 3 billion US dollars was directed to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. This amounts to 15% of the total international humanitarian response and 43% of the funding directed to the top ten recipients. Notably, Lebanon is among the top 10 countries receiving humanitarian assistance.
The population shift from Syria, as a result of the Syrian Crisis, is causing enormous pressure on host communities and exacerbating instability factors. In an in-depth assessments in 12 vulnerable municipalities in Lebanon, Mercy Corps found that 71% of the surveyed host community indicated that conditions have worsened in their municipalities. As such, with socio-economic conditions in the country continue to decline and political instability rises, it is projected that there will be an increased risk of intolerance and withdrawal of host community assistance to refugees.
The purpose of this policy brief is to inform policy formulation on local level security provision and refugee protection, and to propose modalities for upgrading the sys- tems of the Lebanese security institutions in a way that strengthens protection of the Lebanese communities and the Syrian refugees they host.