Is Syria Safe for Return? Returnees’ Perspectives
Some refugee-hosting countries have begun espousing the narrative that Syria is safe, leading to policies that would result in the revocation of asylum status and protections for displaced Syrians. Despite ample preliminary evidence that conditions for a safe and dignified return are lacking, this narrative of safety continues to gain traction.
In this research, the Voices for Displaced Syrians forum highlights the conditions inside Syria and its suitability for displaced Syrians to return. This report focuses on the voices, experiences, and opinions of Syrian returnees, IDPs, and residents, to establish whether or not the 22 Protection Thresholds established by the UN in its 2018 Comprehensive Protection and Solutions Strategy (CPSS) have been met. Those objectives must be reached before any justification of a move into large-scale, facilitated returns.
The report is grounded in original research and data analysis on the safety, security, and economic conditions within each of the four primary control areas in Syria [Government of Syria (GoS), Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), and the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG)], thereby providing NGOs and policymakers with the contextual information required to make well-informed decisions around the return issue.
The research used a mixed-method approach, which included 700 surveys with residents, IDPs, and returnees, supplemented by 26 community interviews and five expert interviews to fill any data gaps. The research also conducted an in-depth literature review, which cover detailed topics including a statistical overview of Syrian displacement and returns, the legal context, policies and practices in host countries, the Syrian government’s political strategy toward returns, laws in Syria that facilitate the government’s political aims and disenfranchisement of displaced and returning Syrians, existing return procedures, and known violations upon return across the different control areas.
You can access the report through the following link: Is Syria Safe for Return?
You can access the report summary through the following link: The Report Summary