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4 Jul 2017

Timour Azhari, The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Lebanon: Syrian construction workers suffer from poor living conditions and sponsorship system restrictions

“Migrant construction workers feel the squeeze”, 23 June 2017

…[Syrian construction] workers have lived in [informal housing] for more than three years while building a luxury tower – located in Beirut…According to several workers…there were at one point over 75 people living beside the construction site in…inhuman conditions. Workers…asked for increased pay…requesting a raise from $20 a day to $22, though they stopped short of demanding better living conditions out of fear they might be laid off…In January 2015, amendments were made to regulations regarding the entry and residence of Syrian nationals in Lebanon – applying…the kafala (sponsorship) system to Syrian labor…The new residency regulations have been criticized by rights groups, the Beirut-based NGO KAFA among others, for being too costly and restrictive. Under these rules, Syrians not registered with UNHCR are tasked with finding a legal sponsor who will take responsibility for them while…in Lebanon.