Al-Marsad and the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) publish a new report examining the Syrian refugee crisis from a conflict-resolution and human rights perspective, focusing on the situation in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan – who together have received around three-quarters of Syrian refugees.

The Syrian refugee crisis has been described as ‘the greatest humanitarian crisis in a generation’. The devastating conflict that began in 2011 and spread to engulf much of the country in a protracted, complex, and multi-sided war, has to date been characterised by extreme brutality. Much of Syria’s infrastructure, economy, and national wealth has been entirely obliterated, and as many as half a million people have been killed. Over 11 million people have been forced from their homes; 4.7 million outside of Syria altogether.

Many Syrian refugees are in desperate need of help. Efforts to assist them are under-resourced and under-funded; many are afflicted by extreme poverty and struggle to subsist daily. The burden of providing for Syrian refugees has fallen disproportionately on a few countries bordering Syria, namely Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, who together have received around three-quarters of Syrian refugees. Given the current state of instability in the region, along with the much-discussed but little-understood potential for refugee crises to worsen regional conflict, this situation is especially concerning.

Drawing on testimonies of Syrian refugees, relevant international legal frameworks and past historical precedents, the report provides a comprehensive understanding of the crisis.

While acknowledging this crisis is massive in scale and rooted in deeply complex issues, consideration of the issues reveals that a more thoughtful, collaborative approach, prioritising international co-operation could be developed, which would enable the international community to secure the interdependent goals of humanitarian provision for refugees and security in the region.

The full report is available here:  The Syrian Refugee Crisis – Refugees, Conflict and International Law

A summary of the report is available here:  The Syrian Refugee Crisis – Refugees, Conflict and International Law – a summary


Image courtesy of Sam Tarling/Oxfam

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