(18 September 2019) BADIL Position Paper: Stop the Ongoing Discrimination against Palestinians Refugees in Lebanon

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In Lebanon, in recent months, hundreds of Palestinian refugees have taken to the streets to protest the crackdown initiated by the Ministry of Labor on work permits and foreigner workers’ rights in Lebanon, voicing their concern and anger against longstanding, discriminatory Lebanese laws and practices.  

Lebanon is host to a substantial number of Palestinian refugees, who suffer from some of the worst living conditions in the region. In this context, it must be noted that more than 70 years after the Nakba of 1948, those refugees who fled to Lebanon remain classified  as foreigners, including those who were born and raised in Lebanon, and denied full access to their civil, social, and economic rights. This is mainly due to the restrictive and discriminatory system that the Lebanese government has in place, especially when it comes to laws concerning workers permits and social security and their impact on Palestinians.   

In this context, BADIL releases its latest position paper discussing the laws and regulations regulating worker’s rights for both nationals and foreigners, and the way in which these laws particularly discriminate against Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon. Lebanon’s obligations under international law and how they are in direct contravention of the conventions and protocols they have ratified are highlighted. It also traverses the reactions and positions within the Palestinian political arena. BADIL calls on the Lebanese government to uphold their obligations under international law and to amend the laws affecting workers permits and social security. These laws and measures must also specifically take into account the status of Palestinian refugees, their history and the political and economic conditions they face. BADIL also calls on the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to take an official position on the current situation, which would need to acknowledge the Lebanese government’s discriminatory laws and practices towards Palestinian refugees, and to implement diplomatic interventions to curtail these.