The Lebanese Armed Forces conducted a series of raids in recent days on informal settlements hosting Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon, demolishing 444 hard structures and affecting nearly 1,200 people. 85 people were arrested, including 3 minors, mainly on the grounds of lacking legal residency. Refugees whose homes were destroyed were not given enough time to ensure their families' safety nor to secure their personal belongings and documents.
On 9 August, the Lebanon Humanitarian INGO Forum (LHIF) issued a public statement calling on the Lebanese authorities to stop the demolition of refugees’ homes and work with the community, including refugees, landlords and municipalities, to find solutions that allow refugees to continue to live in safety and dignity.
In order to avoid lack of legal residency being a basis for arrest during these raids, humanitarian partners are urging the authorities to facilitate refugees’ access to residency permits without incurring a fee, and to allow the resumption of registration by UNHCR.