Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Iraqis in jail, their children in the workhouse

The UN reports on the terrible plight faced by Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.

"The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) puts the number of Iraqi refugees in Lebanon at 50,000 people, of whom only 8,476 are registered. Another 500 are being held in prison, it says, merely for violating immigration rules."

The UN notes that many will be held indefinitely as they cannot be deported.

Furthermore, "Iraqi children are unlikely to attend school as they are sent to work in menial jobs by their parents who believe children are less likely than adults to get caught without official papers.

"As with Palestinians, refugees in Lebanon find it almost impossible to gain fully legal employment. That would require a Lebanese sponsor who agrees to be legally responsible for them and to pay about US$2,000 a year in administration fees."

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