Syrian Refugee Returns, Reintegration Experiences and Risks
About the Report
This working paper provides empirically supported background on the possibilities and risks of return and reintegration of refugees to Syria. Based on recent qualitative interviews, it differentiates between the experiences of refugees returning to regime-controlled areas mainly in Southern, Central and Western Syria from Lebanon and Jordan as well as those returning from Turkey and Northern Iraq to Northern Syria. It addresses three major challenges to the return of refugees: (1) the lack of security and safety; (2) the humanitarian and socio-economic situation, threatening the survival of returnees; and (3) severe challenges in accessing housing, land, and the property rights. The paper provides an overview of the reasons for ongoing spontaneous returns, the official rhetoric of host countries and their ad hoc procedures and practices. As a key message, the paper stresses that despite an end to warfare in most areas, safe return remains unattainable because the Syrian regime and other military actors continue to pose severe threats to the lives and survival of Syrians including returnees.