London- Wednesday;  The international platform of NGOs working for Palestine   appealed all civil society organizations, trade, community and official unions  concerned with the Palestinian refugees situation to stand against and address the policies and procedures made by the Lebanese government that target institutions and prosecute the Palestinian workers  preventing them from working on Lebanese soil.

 The platform cleared that the Lebanese ministry of labor has started implementing its plan to “combat illegal foreign labors” which the ministry announced about it on June 6 of last month, in order to reduce the unemployment rate and protect the Lebanese labor from what’s so called as they claim “illegal” competition.

The platform pointed out that the ministry's sent field teams that started working in the early hours of its campaign to release legal and financial restrictions on Palestinian workers under the campaign slogan "Combating illegal foreign workers", which led many shops and institutions to shut down their business by stamping them with red wax, and stopping a large numbers of Palestinian refugees from working.

The International Platform stated in its statement that these measures are added to a long series of arbitrary practices and policies that increasingly restrict the Palestinian refugee. The Lebanese authorities have not only limited the civil rights of the Palestinians, but have made new decisions that have continually reduced these rights.

Compared with refugees elsewhere in the world, Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon in particular face an unprecedented state of political, economic and social exclusion. Of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, there are more than 170,000 refugees in refugee camps, these numbers represent 9% of the total number of Palestinian refugee around the world who are registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Palestinian refugees are 11% of the total population of Lebanon.  More than half of the Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon have no choice but to live in non-livable conditions and overcrowded camps, the rest live in 27 other crowded areas, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon suffer from a high unemployment rates reaching up to 56%.the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are deprived of any civil or social rights, also they are prevented from applying for more than 20 jobs because of some racist laws.

The platform states that in the light of the amendment in the Lebanese Labor and Social Security Law, in which the Palestinian refugee is treated as a foreign worker and has a legal status that differs from that of other nationalities labor. Lebanese law disregards the status of the Palestinian refugee as a foreign expatriate who have rights set forth in the treaties and conventions concerning the status of the Palestinian refugee.

 In lights of these racist events the International Platform of NGOs working for Palestine calls on the Lebanese authorities to immediately cease their racist campaign against the institutions and workers of Palestinian refugees, and to respect the special conventions that recognize the rights of refugees, as well as to prevent all forms of racial discrimination, To give refugees the full right to exercise their economic activity and not to prevent them from jobs and free enterprise.

In conclusion, the International Platform of NGOs working for Palestine appeal to all civil society organizations, Palestinian trade unions around the world,  all international organizations concerned with refugee rights, the Palestinian government and all its embassies operating in countries which  have Palestinian refugees, to work on exerting the necessary pressure on the Lebanese government to stop prosecution the Refugees, their institutions and work, by that enabling them to exercise their economic activity and alleviate their suffering.