Q&A on Returns to Syria
1.Why is UNHCR asking refugees about their intentions to return?
- Collecting information regarding the intentions and views of refugees in relation to their future has been part of ongoing activities undertaken by UNHCR Lebanon since the beginning of the crisis. It is essential for UNHCR to understand refugees’ intentions to conduct appropriate advocacy and to plan for effective support programme in Lebanon and in Syria.
- The information collected during these activities is kept anonymous and the participation is on a voluntary basis. It is not compulsory to respond. Participation in these activities is not related to humanitarian assistance in Lebanon and does not affect refugees’ eligibility to receive assistance and services.
2.What is UNHCR position regarding refugees’ return to Syria?
- UNHCR respects the choice of refugees, whatever the choice may be. This should be based on individual circumstances. UNHCR is not organizing or having specific programmes for returns to Syria at this stage because, with the rest of the UN, UNHCR believes that conditions for refugees to return in safety and dignity are not yet in place in Syria, the sustainability of security improvements in many areas remaining uncertain. Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to work with the Government of Lebanon to advocate for continued hospitality and protection for Syrian refugees until return becomes possible for most.
3.Irrespective of UNHCR’s position, can I return to Syria?
- Everyone has the right to return to her or his own country, irrespective of the conditions in the country at the time of return. In any conflict around the world, it has been observed that some refugees decide to return voluntarily to their home country, even before peace is in place. Common reasons cited for current return returns include looking for family members, checking on property and economic challenges in host countries.
4.Why is UNHCR recording information relating to Housing, Land and Property in Syria?
- Copies of these important documents will be safely stored and recorded and can be made available to you in the future in case of loss or theft, like copies of your ID documents previously collected. It will also give UNHCR a clearer picture of the situation of Syrian refugees as regards their land and property rights in Syria and to plan legal aid programmes in the future should there be disputes or other issues related to your property.
- Participation in this initiative is strictly on a voluntary basis. In addition, documents given to UNHCR will not be shared with any other organization or government without the concerned person’s written consent.
For more individual counseling, advice and support, you can approach UNHCR at the following reception centres
UNHCR Reception Centres
-In person: Ramlet El-Baida, Dr. Philippe Hitti St., behind Spinney's Supermarket Beirut (Monday to Friday 8:00 - 14:00)
-Over the phone: 01-820848 for Information and Appointments (Monday to Friday 7:00 - 17:00)
-In person: Zahle highway, near Kaysar Ata IceCream, Zahle (Monday to Friday 8:00 - 16:00)
-Over the phone: 76-611811 for Information / 08-930468 for Appointments: (Monday to Friday 8:30 - 16:00)
-In person: Next to Rachid Karame Exhibition Centre, Tripoli (Monday to Friday 8:00 - 14:00)
-Over the phone: 71-911496 for Information (Monday to Friday 8:00 - 16:00)
-In person: Villa Krischt, Al Hosh, Tyre (Monday to Friday 8:30 - 16:00)
-Over the phone: 76-500370 for Information / Appointments: 76-500380 (Monday to Friday 8:30 - 16:00)