This research concludes that Syria is still not a safe destination for return, and that conditions within Syria are further deteriorating. At the same time, living conditions within Lebanon continue to deteriorate severely, and pressure to return to Syria is increasing. Refugees lack reliable and up-to-date information on conditions inside Syria. Viable and sustainable alternatives to return, such as resettlement, or self-sufficiency within Lebanon, remain elusive. The lack of durable solutions has led an increasing number of people to “re-return” from Syria to Lebanon, or to try to reach Europe through land and sea routes, where they have frequently been met with violent pushbacks by European border guards.Urgent action is required to address the deteriorating situation for Syria’s displaced people. RPW therefore recommends that:

  • All states must maintain the position that Syria is not a safe destination for return, and that any (future) returns must be safe, voluntary, dignified, and informed.
    • Asylum seekers from Syria must continue to be granted refugee status, those with protected status should not have it revoked, and forced deportations and acts of refoulement must be halted.
    • An ambitious strategy in support of durable solutions to the Syrian forced displacement crisis must be pursued, including an increase in resettlement places, and the provision of legal residency in Lebanon with the right to work.
    • robust international monitoring mechanism must be established to closely monitor conditions within Syria, and the experiences of returnees.
    • diverse set of local CSO actors should be systematically included in the design, planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of international cooperation interventions related to refugees, displaced people and host communities.