Shrinking Horizons for Hope: Syrian refugees reflect on their priorities on durable solutions after a decade in displacement

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Save the Children International

Save the Children commissioned this report to help provide a better understanding of how Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq regard their future, their decision-making processes, and priorities in terms of durable solutions. Eleven years on, the future of Syrian refugees remains uncertain. Those consulted for this report felt increasingly frustrated and desperate because of the lack of pathways to solutions.

For refugees in Lebanon, as well as those in camps in Jordan and Iraq, the situation is particularly untenable; poor housing, limitations on freedom of movement, limitations in education opportunities, and complex relations with the host community and country have left many with little hope for the future. Despite the challenging conditions in host countries, respondents did not feel that return to Syria was an option in the short-term. Feelings of frustration and desperation were keenly felt by young people, among whom the desire to move to third countries is the greatest. They felt unable to access opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship, which limits their potential to contribute to their communities and societies. Lack of opportunities to improve their situation in host countries together with concerns regarding the security situation in Syria is leading many to put their hopes in moving to third countries outside the region. Looking into unsafe migration options was not uncommon among Syrian refugees, especially young people, increasing the risks of smuggling, unsafe migration and related exploitation.

Girls and young women typically saw third country solutions as a pathway towards greater independence and influence in decisions that affect their lives and escaping restrictive gender norms and stereotypes. The findings underscore the urgent need to develop approaches that can enable refugees to access safe durable solutions pathways while return to Syria remains an impossible reality for so many. Helping refugees regularise their legal status and provide them with reliable access to basic services in host countries must be strengthened to secure a future for refugees living in the region. In addition, more focus is needed to increase access to third country solutions safely.



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