Legal assistance - update on birth registration in Lebanon for refugees from Syria
Norwegian Refugee Council
Through its Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) programme,The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) provides information, counselling and legal assistance to refugees from Syria about access to essential services and on legal issues in Lebanon (including legal status, birth registration and housing, land and property matters). This update by the NCR ICLA team provides guidance on how to register the births of Syrian refugee children born in Lebanon and examines some of the many challenges that still remain to birth registration for refugees from Syria. Not registering the births of Syrian children born in Lebanon makes it extremely difficult for people to prove the identity of their babies and the parental links to them. The lack of birth registration may also pose a serious problem for an eventual return to Syria through official border crossings.
Birth registration is an important way of preventing statelessness and ensuring that, as set out in a number of international human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to be registered and have their identity respected. Birth registration provides legal identity which then allows a child to have evidence of their relationship with their parents and details of their name, date and place of birth. In addition, once families can voluntarily and safely return to Syria, the birth certificate will allow a family to register their child in Syria. Refugees from Syria who are now in Lebanon are often not aware of legal procedures and the consequences of not following the necessary procedures to register births. In addition, the number of newborns of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is rising due to the extended time of their displacement.