Hoda Baraka


Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Cairo to Camps-Working Paper Series

Publication Date



Insecurity and instability could be general characteristics attributable to a large part of the Palestinian Diaspora, but the unique situation prevailing in Lebanon deserves to be given particular attention. This is because the degree of political, economic and social exclusion towards Palestinians is unique in its extent which in turn creates an ambiguous status quo for Palestinians; from which the present difficulties arise. This ambiguity serves to create a legislative vacuum, which in turn leads to the absence of a foundation for a clear relationship between both the Palestinians and the Lebanese. By discussing the current status of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon it is impossible to overlook the grave conditions that most refugees find themselves living in. This research focuses on Lebanese labour laws and how these serve to further stifle the livelihood of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. It will be argued that the ministerial memorandum of June 2005, which granted Palestinians the right to work in some professions which were previously forbidden, in reality serves only to generate false hope as it will not have a meaningful effect in ameliorating the living conditions of Palestinians. Firstly, a historical overview on Palestinians in Lebanon serves as an important pre-requisite for understanding the factors which led to today’s complicated scenario. Though not comprehensive in its coverage, the section below aims to highlight certain events of relevance to the topic of this research amidst an otherwise saturated and intricate relationship between both the Lebanese and the Palestinians.

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