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In an attempt to limit the repercussions of Syrian migration to Lebanon, the Lebanese government drafted a policy paper in late 2014 covering key issues relating both to the entry of Syrian refugees and their residency status in the country.The actions and practical measures taken over recent months by various agencies and ministries to implement this policy have demonstrated that Syrian refugees in Lebanon endure a number of hardships. First, refugees have no hope of benefiting from the principle of legal protection that refugees normally enjoy because a policy of asylum does not exist in Lebanon and because the international community is unable (or unwilling) to offer it. In the same vein, an announcement from the General Directorate of General Security at the start of this year tightened the conditions under which Syrians who entered Lebanon before 2015 could secure legal residency and imposed an entry visa regime at the border for new arrivals, with certain exceptions.The truth is that this mix-up and inconsistency on the part of officials in sorting out regulations during this period highlights the inadequacy of national laws governing Syrian refugees in Lebanon in particular, and foreigners in general.Second, the current sponsorship system violates the Lebanese Foreigners Law and Labor Law, and the shortcomings of the foreign labor regime in Lebanon are well-known to everyone (in particular for workers in the third category of the Labor Ministry's classification).
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