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Urban refugee protection in Lebanon’s ‘hybrid’ security system

A research and action agenda

This project supported research and knowledge sharing on perceptions of security and formal and informal security mechanisms in Lebanon.

In the wake of the Syrian crisis and the influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, notions of ‘anticipated violence’ and ‘moral panic’ have contributed to different formal and informal security mechanisms. These are often ad hoc and in response to the local population’s concerns about the presence of refugees. There is a need to better understand these mechanisms and find ways to improve both the security of local communities and the protection of refugees.

This includes looking at how Syrian refugees have become ‘a security issue’, how ‘hybrid’ security actors (including state institutions, political parties and local groups) attempt to manage such ‘threats’ and how the politics of security shapes people’s lives. And specifically, how different ad hoc security measures have been enforced against Syrian refugees in urban areas.

This project informed discussion on perceptions and understandings of (in)security and refugee protection in urban areas in Lebanon, including providing evidence on the impact of formal and informal security arrangements. It also informed local, national and international policies on refugee protection, and provided insights for more ‘conflict-sensitive’ programming and security sector reform.