Lebanon relaxes law to allow 50,000 Syrian children’s births to be registered
Lebanon has relaxed its law on registering new-born children to remove a complex and costly court process for Syrian refugees, benefiting more than 50,000 unregistered Syrian children.
Lebanese law states that a new-born child must be registered within one year of its birth, if this deadline is missed the only option is a complex and costly court which many refugees are unable to afford.
Failing to register a child’s birth in Lebanon restricts their chances of enrolling in school, accessing critical healthcare and immunisation and their movement outside of the country.
There are currently 976,000 registered Syrian refugees living in Lebanon with only 17% of Syrian refugees under five with their births registered with the Lebanese Authorities.
However, the change in Lebanon’s law means that Syrian children born in Lebanon between January 2011 and February 2018 will now be able to acquire the necessary paper free of charge. It is estimated this will benefit 50,000 children.
Mohammad Jarjowi, Legal Officer at the International Rescue Committee commented:
“Legal documents are very important for refugees. They help improve their living and financial situations”
“’This new measure saves refugees time and cost, and offers relief to all those who were not being able to process the certificates of their children”
As some Syrian families in Lebanon are now considering returning home, the birth certificates will be crucial in allowing children to cross the border, prove their family ties, enrol in school and access public services in Syria.
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Image credit: UNICEF