Struggling to Survive: Slavery and exploitation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Conducted in the early part of 2016 this project documented the manifestations of slavery and human trafficking among the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon. This exploratory research looked in particular at child labour, sexual exploitation, forced labour, child marriage, and organ trafficking. With interviews conducted with senior representatives of government departments, municipalities, international organisations, international NGOs and grassroots organisations, this project also aimed to advise Freedom Fund and its partners about areas for potential funding in Lebanon, and to make recommendations about tackling slavery and trafficking.
In the wake of the still-raging conflict in Syria, half the population – 11 million people - has been killed or forced to flee their homes. Syrians now constitute the largest refugee population in the world. Since the beginning of the conflict, at least 1.1 million women, men and children from Syria, including Palestinian Syrians – refugees from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands - have sought protection across their western border in Lebanon. Almost six years on, the vast majority of refugees in Lebanon are living in abject poverty, in precarious accommodation and scraping by in the barest of survival modes, and the government of Lebanon has effectively closed its borders.
Globally, human trafficking has been connected to conflicts and wars from Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia and Afghanistan to the Balkans and Latin America. The massive displacement of civilian populations that usually accompanies conflict also facilitates the movement of people into highly exploitative situations. In 2015, the UN Security Council discussed human trafficking in conflict situations for the first time ever. While there are a large number of organisations in Lebanon providing services and support to Syrian refugees, efforts to curb the growing incidence of slavery and human trafficking are often uncoordinated, limited in their focus and do not always target those most at risk. This report sets out a pathway to deliver tangible and lasting change. It examines the different ways in which slavery is occurring among Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the multiple factors that combine to force people into situations of slavery. Addressing these risk factors will require the commitment of a broad range of stakeholders, including the Lebanese government, international governments, international organisations, NGOs and donors. This report provides a set of targeted and integrated recommendations to counter slavery and human trafficking of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The politics of migration, displacement and belonging among Afghans migrants and refugees in Europe and North America
Our research on Afghan experiences of displacement and migration focuses in the following issues: the politics of the migration, asylum and resettlement of Afghans in Europe and North America; Afghan journeys and migration into Europe and the engagement of recently arrived Afghans in Europe for peacebuilding and development in Afghanistan. We aim to examine the situate of the complex migration histories of Afghans who have recently migrated from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan within debates around the categorisation, intersectionality and development in migration.
Refugee resettlement: politics, practices, rhetoric
This project explores resettlement in countries of destination as well in those which host large numbers of forcibly displaced persons. Drawing evidence from a select group of case-studies, we analyse the ways in which the politics of resettlement are translated on the ground through the practices and narratives of the staff of intermediary organisations such as UNHCR, IOM and the NGOs involved in resettlement; and government officials as well as their main respective donor governments. Using decolonising methodologies, we also aim to study the intertwined narratives, storytelling and rhetoric about resettlement of the women and men who have been forcibly displaced.
Managing the migration crisis? Undocumented migrants and refugees at Europe’s southern border
Over recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy as part of what has come to be known as Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. An intensification of controls on international population movements has taken place both at sea and after arrival. This project seeks to better understand what the impact of attempts by EU institutions and national governments to manage the crisis has been on migrants’ status and journeys. It serves to document the ongoing crisis through the experiences of newly arrived migrants and refugees.