“Our Homes Are Not for Strangers”: Mass Evictions of Syrian Refugees by Lebanese Municipalities

Frelick, B.
Publication language
Date published
01 Apr 2018
Research, reports and studies
Conflict, violence & peace, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities
Syria, Lebanon
Human Rights Watch

Starting in 2016 and continuing into 2018, 13 Lebanese municipalities have engaged in unlawful, forced evictions and expulsions of at least 3,664 Syrian refugees without due process and often exhibiting nationality and religious discrimination. According to the UN Refugee Agency, another 42,000 Syrian refugees are at risk of eviction. Based on interviews with 57 affected Syrian refugees as well as municipal officials and Lebanese legal experts, “Our Homes Are Not for Strangers” shows that Lebanese municipalities lack the legal authority to evict and expel residents on grounds of their immigration or employment status and have failed to accord them the opportunity to challenge their evictions or to provide them other due process protections according to international standards.

This report shows the impact of evictions on refugees, including their displacement and accompanying loss of community, income and property, and the disruption of education, sometimes causing children to miss months of schooling, and in other cases, to drop out of school entirely.

The report urges relevant ministries of the Lebanese government, including the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, to intervene to prevent municipal-level mistreatment of Syrian refugees and to ensure that they are not left homeless and destitute as a result of unlawful actions.