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Christian Emigration Report: Lebanon and Syria

The status of refugees can be described as follows:

  1. Legal status: The refugees have no right to live or work in Lebanon.
  2. Social Status:
    1. Their work is not continuous. They are often fired, not well treated, with low salaries and non-respectful employers.
    2. Unavailability of funds to have access to adequate and healthy lodging.
    3. Tuition is expensive, and is more so because of the low income. Often, children are taken out of school at early ages (a maximum of 12-13 years) to help support their families.
    4. Health care is cost prohibitive (medication, laboratory exams and hospitalization). Parents cannot afford these expenses.
    5. Psychological problems related to anxiety, fear, loneliness, fear of forgetting one’s ties to home country, absence of future planning, low self-esteem or even hatred of people and country of asylum due to exploitation and race.

Who is taking care of the migrants and refugees?

1. Caritas Center for Migrants

Established in 1994 in Zalka, the center provides aid to the migrants and the refugees. The aim of the work is to help them become self-dependent. The center is formed of a committee of six persons with experience in this domain as well as a professional team. The work performed by the center can be described as follows:

  1. Facilitate the repatriation and installation of sick or vulnerable persons through financial and administrative means.
  2. Provide medical and social follow-up of persons held in the detention center.
  3. Provide financial and medical care for the women held in the different jails (Verdun, Baabda, Zahleh and Tripoli).
  4. Provide legal assistance for every person who needs an attorney.
  5. Allow the Iraqi and Sudanese refugees to become self-dependent through a credit program.
  6. Improve lodging conditions and provide the newly immigrated persons or families with a place to live.
  7. Provide the refugees and/or the migrants with prevention sessions as well as medical assistance.
  8. Provide the parents with financial and technical help for the schools.
  9. Provide immediate humanitarian assistance for daily problems.
  10. Provide social support for the different communities in order to reduce the inequalities.
  11. Provide financial, social and technical help for the Iraqi immigrants.
  12. Provide information about the migrants and the refugees.

Starting December 2000, Caritas started a medical and social office in the Detention Center of the General Security that opens from 7.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

2. UNHCR/MiddleEast Council of Churches (MECC)

It was created in 1950 with the aim of helping the victims of World War II, essentially the Jews in order to migrate to Europe, the United States and Canada. UNHCR’s definition of the refugees is based on the Geneva Convention of 1951 and states the following: “a refugee is every person whose fear of persecution due to his race, religion, nationality or appurtenance to a social group or a certain political belief, incites him to stay out of his home country and refuse its protection.”

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