Migration and Return: The Case of Lebanon Following the Summer 2006 War
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AbstractLERC's study was based on the assumption that human insecurity causes forced migration and discourages the return of migrants. It identified human insecurity, whether economic, societal or political, as a state that affects all levels of society starting from the individual and spreading to the community. Economic insecurity as defined by the study can be indicated by poverty, unemployment, the amount of coverage provided in a welfare system and the national debt. Societal insecurity can be measured in terms of food insecurity, health insecurity, environmental insecurity, ethno-religious insecurity and moral and personal insecurity. Political insecurity includes political rights, political crimes and terrorism, human trafficking and corruption in government and in democratic procedures. All threats are interrelated and one can lead to another. Hence, forced migration is seen as both an important threat to human security and one of the most significant consequences of human insecurity. With this in mind LERC's study first summarized the socio-economic and political situation in Lebanon since the Summer 2006 War and its consequent political and economic ramifications. The study found evidence that an "environment of insecurity" (EOI) is in full play in Lebanon, therefore furthering the desire to emigrate and preventing the return of migrants. The study showed that almost two thirds (60.5%) of the Lebanese residents surveyed indicated that they wanted to emigrate while 39.0% replied that they were not going to emigrate. When the surveyed residents were asked about the impact of the Summer 2006 War on their decision to leave, 68.4% confirmed that the War had helped them take the decision. As for the reasons for migrating 39.3% of residents questioned said they would leave to secure their future while 25.3% would leave due to Lebanon's insecurity. The study provided socio-demographic characteristics to indicate amongst others that 62.5% of those between the ages of 21-30, traditionally the prime age bracket for Lebanese migrants, and 56.5% of those between 31 and 40 want to migrate or are showing a tendency to do so. The study also revealed that 61.3% of the Christians surveyed want to leave as compared to 59.7% of the Muslims. Migrants surveyed were from all walks of life with different migratory experiences and different perceptions and degrees of tolerance. The study found that migrants like residents based their perceptions on their worries about government collapse and their fear of armed groups. The conditions necessary for returning or staying, given by migrants or residents were similar in terms of political security, employment and societal security. 31.1% of the migrants surveyed said that their reason for not returning was the instability of Lebanon, 24.4% said the reason was the political situation while 17.8% preferred to stay abroad to secure their future. Almost three-quarters of migrants questioned (73.2%) said they had no plans for returning permanently to Lebanon over the next one to five years and 25.4% said they were planning to do so, while a small portion of 1.4% refused to answer. When asked about the impact of the Summer 2006 War on their decision, 60% of the migrants surveyed said that they had decided not to return following the War, 37% said that the war had not negatively affected their decision to return, and 3% gave no answer.
TypeExternal research report