New residency laws in Lebanon could lead to exploitation and abuse of Syrian refugees.
That’s the warning from Human Rights Watch, which says the majority of Syrians who fled to Lebanon to escape persecution and war have in effect lost their legal status.
The Lebanese government is rejecting the rights group’s report.
Lebanon is hosting more than one million Syrian refugees.
Syrians over the age of 15 must now pay a fee of $200 to renew residency permits.
On top of that, Syrians must find a sponsor to stay in Lebanon – which can cost $1,000 per person.
Human Rights Watch warns that the Syrian community, which is already struggling to survive, could be pushed further underground, forced to work illegally and risk being abused.
So, will the new rules deter more Syrians from leaving their war-torn country?
Presenter: Peter Dobbie
Khalil Gebara – Adviser to Lebanon’s interior minister
Haley Bobseine – Lebanon researcher for Human Rights Watch
Anne Hammerstad – Honorary senior research fellow at the University of Kent and specialist in refugee movements and migration