Amnesty: female Syrian refugees abused in Lebanon

[JURIST] Syrian refugee women are being abused in Lebanon, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a report [text, PDF] published Tuesday. The report explains [press release] how the refusal by the Lebanese government to renew permits causes refugee women to be exploited by people in positions of power such as police, employers and landlords. Around 70 percent of Syrian refugee families are living significantly below the Lebanese poverty line. Due to their desperation, some refugees have claimed to receive inappropriate sexual advances and offers in return for financial assistance. Others claim that employers pay them excessively low wages because the employers know the women cannot afford to turn down the work. AI called on the international community to increase the number of resettlement locations and routes along with increased funding and support to fulfill the UN's funding requirements for assistance for the Syria crisis.

The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. In January Human Rights Watch (HRW) published [JURIST report] a report claiming that Lebanese residency laws risk creating a large undocumented community of refugees living within the Lebanese community. In November UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed [JURIST report] the UN General Assembly and cautioned the international community to avoid discrimination against Muslims, especially refugees and migrants entering Europe, as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris a week earlier. Also that month AI analyzed [JURIST report] the EU's approach to the refugee crisis and recommends changes to ensure international law is followed and human rights are appropriately valued. In October HRW called on [JURIST report] the EU and Western Balkans states to focus on remedying what it characterized as deplorable conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave the opening statement [JURIST report] at the thirtieth session of the Human Rights Council in September in which he addressed, among other pressing human rights issues, the migrant crisis.

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