During the discussion session, SCPR will present the findings of its most recent research papers that focus on asylum and forced displacement within the context of the Syrian conflict, developed in collaboration with several partners. The first session aims at analyzing through the lens of political economy, the relationship between the foundations of the conflict, (namely political oppression, social polarization, the militarization of the conflict and the conflict economy) and the catastrophic phenomena of forced displacement in Syria. This approach contradicts the current mainstream viewpoints on displacement which limit their scope of action to humanitarian considerations. This research on the determinants of forced displacement intends to contribute to the creation of alternative policies able to counter the causes of displacement. The second session will link forced displacement to the refugee crisis and analyze them as outcomes of the conflict. It will discuss the results of the field research to assess the level of socio-political participation of refugees in their host country, a theme generally overlooked by most actors involved in refugee-related policies in countries neighboring Syria.
The determinants of forced displacement in the Syrian context:
This paper provides an accurate diagnosis of the size and distribution of displacement, whilst also offering critical analysis of the factors driving it. Where a decade of conflict in Syria has resulted in one of the biggest human catastrophes since the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, more than 6.6 million have fled Syria to seek safety abroad, whilst 7.1 million people have been displaced inside of the country. Forced displacement of people has not been a side effect of the conflict; it has been a method employed to strategically reinforce political dominance. It also remains a factor fueling and perpetuating violence due to deprivation, discrimination, and exclusion that displaced people are exposed to.
Unsurprisingly many of these factors are linked to the brutality of military campaigns and the gross violations of rights. Yet returning the displaced to their cities or villages does not depend uniquely on the cessation of violence, as military campaigns are only the most visible causes of displacements. Many of the reasons preventing people from returning home are more structural in nature. They are tied to the severe violations of human rights, economic collapse, degradation of social relationships and the destruction of public infrastructure and the collapse of public services.
The paper is based on both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and measures the importance of each of the factors leading to displacement from the place of residence, as well as the factors attracting displaced people to specific areas. The evidence highlights the fallacy of linking displacement uniquely to military operations. It also provides a starting point for discussions on the roles played by actors involved in displacement and their impact on confronting or reinforcing displacement. These discussions open up the possibility to gradually build alternatives able to address the root causes of displacement.
Participation in the context of asylum:
This paper examines the economic, social and political participation of Syrian refugees in the countries hosting them, this is a vital issue that has often been overlooked in the literature addressing asylum. Participation expands the opportunity and capacity for refugees to contribute to sustainable development in the countries hosting them. It also enhances opportunities for social cohesion and solidarity to emerge between refugees and the host community. The research is a case study on Syrian refugees in the camps in Lebanon, it adapts a participatory research methodology that focuses on the capabilities and opportunities people offer which can lead inclusive forms of development.
The research builds on in-depth, face-to-face interviews with the refugees carried out by the field researchers who themselves are part of these refugee communities. It aimed at assessing the level of participation of camp residents in issues pertaining to their current and future livelihoods. In addition to the issue of participation, the research monitors the determinants associated with it, such as social capital, living conditions, the nature of institutions and the forces operating in the camps. The paper discusses how to redesign policies addressing refugees from a participatory and inclusive developmental perspective.
We are looking forward to your attendance and participation
The event will be streamed on SCPR’s Facebook page in Arabic, with the possibility of accessing a live audio translation in English.