International conventions and international laws have guaranteed the right to a decent life, and the right to employment. Meanwhile, the Syrian crisis has resulted in large numbers of refugees (over 5 million) dispersed all over the world, principally in neighboring countries. In Lebanon for instance, the number of refugees has already exceeded one million due to social and geographical factors.
About one million Syrians (including Palestinian refugees from Syria) have moved to Lebanon and have formed a mixture of nationalities in Lebanese society. Lebanon, in return, has so far struggled to provide the most basic and necessary needs for them in part because of a presidential vacuum that lasted for two years (2014-2016) until President Michel Aoun won elections, and the Parliament extended membership since 2009 and to this day.
The Lebanese internal political crisis has coincided in many stages with the Syrian crisis, which affected the reception, registration and distribution of refugees in Lebanese areas. The Lebanese authorities finally decided to gradually stop receiving refugees and to close the borders beginning in 2015 before waves of Syrian refugees flooding the borders, eliminating all possibilities of keeping the ones already there.
With this occurring, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon often live in difficult circumstances due to severe restrictions on employment, low wages, and the fact that they often work mainly in random unorganized jobs, such as in agriculture and industry.
Due to limited financial aid, Syrian families are forced to send their children to work instead of sending them to schools. The Lebanese education sector also plays a role in driving them away.
With children working side by side with adults, a critical situation is created. Anti-slavery International estimates that 60 to 70 percent of Syrian refugee children are forced to work.
Even more critically, over 85 percent of working children are in “risky” jobs, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO)
In this report, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor aims to highlight the crisis faced by refugee children from Syria in Lebanon, and its causes and effects on the children themselves and their families. Through this, the Euro-Med aims to pressure locally and internationally to improve the situation of children in Lebanon in general and the children of Syria in particular, being the most vulnerable, and the most in need.