palestinian refugee camps
16 images Created 31 May 2011
There are over 4 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UNRWA (United Nations Refugee & Works Agency). Approximately 1.4 million live in 58 refugee camps stretching across the eastern Mediterranean. Over 400,000 are registered in Lebanon, the exact number living in the camps is unknown since many, who could leave, have left Lebanon to pursue a better standard of living. The numbers are anywhere from 250,000 and above. Most work as day laborers, in grocery stores, and seasonal work in agriculture and the women in sewing or as cleaners. Only a very small number of Palestinians have been given Lebanese citizenship, the rest remain in the legal limbo of being stateless, which among other things affects their ability to travel. The constraints of Lebanese employment laws has crippled Palestinians from achieving better standard of living. Even though work rights have changed in as recent as 2011, jobs that have become legal for Palestinians to hold remain mostly unskilled jobs. They are barred from joining syndicates which makes it illegal to hold jobs such as engineers, lawyers, doctors and so on. The jobs they are allowed to have don't afford them the rights to social security, health benefits, pensions, even when they pay into the system. Employment laws are based on reciprocity, that is the foreign workers home country must afford a Lebanese citizen these rights for them to qualify in Lebanon. since there is no state of Palestine they don't qualify. Palestinians also aren't allowed to own property. Unemployment in the camps reaches above 60%. Poverty is rampant. School dropout is higher than non refugee population.