BEIRUT — Caretaker Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine declared Monday that the Lebanese plan to repatriate Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon will aim at returning “15,000 displaced people per month,” indicating that the ministry is working toward forming committees with concerned authorities to achieve this goal.
Here’s what we know:
• During a meeting with President Michel Aoun, Charafeddine briefed the president on the ongoing efforts taking place to return the Syrian refugees to their country. “It is totally unacceptable for the displaced not to return to their country after it has become safe,” indicating that the Syrian government will be “extending its hand to cooperate on this file.”
• Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar said on June 20 that he plans to launch a strategy for the return of refugees, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati threatened to step up deportations if the international community does not assist in repatriating refugees. Hajjar announced this news at the launch of a campaign to raise $3.2 billion in additional international funding to address the impact of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon.
• A flurry of reports were released in 2021 by rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, maintaining that Syria is “unsafe for return” and detailing the abuses Syrians risk upon returning to their country. The reports have corroborated that, while there has been a decline in military conflict, “arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and ill-treatment, involuntary or enforced disappearances, rape, and death” are still common in Syria.