Article du Washington Post à propos d'une étude portant sur les obstacles au retour au pays pesant sur les réfugiés et demandeurs d'asile syriens :
What do refugees themselves want?
International refugee law requires that any return be safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable. So what do Syrian refugees themselves think about returning home? To date, much of the discussion around return has largely focused on geopolitical interests and tends to miss the critical perspective of Syrian refugees themselves.
To understand how Syrian refugees think about returning, we conducted a nationally representative survey, conducting face-to-face interviews with more than 3,000 Syrian refugee households in Lebanon between August and October 2019. The study reveals that while only 5 percent of refugees wanted to return within a year, the majority of refugees (63 percent) hoped to return at some point.
We also wanted to find out what influences people’s decision about return. Many refugee-hosting governments around the world limit refugees’ right to work and make it difficult to access legal residency and full protections under the law. These measures are in part based on a widespread presumption that if refugees find life in a host country difficult, they are more likely to return home. To test this implicit theory, we analyzed data from our large sample of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, as well as results from an embedded experiment within the survey.
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Refugees pay close attention to the situation in Syria
Our study finds that conditions in Syria are the most important factors in the decision to return — not conditions in Lebanon, the host country for these refugees. Respondents cared most about their physical safety and security in their place of origin. Syrians are not only weighing the threat of persecution by the Assad government, including forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions, but also compulsory military conscription, tight economic conditions and the lack of public services.
Syrians who reported suffering from difficult conditions in Lebanon — including lack of work, precarious housing, insufficient humanitarian aid and widespread discrimination — were no more likely to say they plan to return. The choice to continue living in exile is difficult, but apparently still clear for most Syrians in Lebanon: They don’t want to return home before conditions in Syria meaningfully improve. As one Syrian woman from Aleppo told us: “My country is at war, so we cannot return. But here [in Lebanon], we cannot live.”