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Executive Summary for July 19th

We review the latest refugee issues, including a report that more than half of Syrian children in Lebanon do not attend school, the return of North Waziristan refugees from Afghanistan and the arrival of more than 300 migrants to eastern Aegean islands last week.

Published on July 19, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

‘More Than 250,000 Syrian Children in Lebanon Do Not Attend School’

More than half of the nearly 500,000 school-age Syrian children registered in Lebanon do not receive formal education, Human Rights Watch said today.

Lebanon has taken steps to allow Syrian children access to public schools, but limited resources and Lebanese policies on residency and work for Syrians are preventing children from going to school, according to the report.

“Despite Lebanon’s progress in enrolling Syrian children, the huge number of children still out of school is an immediate crisis, requiring bold reforms,” said Bassam Khawaja, a HRW research fellow. “Children should not have to sacrifice their education to seek safety from the horrors of war in Syria.”

“Lebanon should urgently reform a counterproductive residency policy that is forcing Syrians underground and affecting parents’ ability to send their children to school,” Khawaja added.

The actual number of Syrian children not enrolled in school is expected to be much higher, as an estimated 400,000 Syrians in Lebanon are not registered with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

North Waziristan Refugees Return From Afghanistan

At least 70 families from North Waziristan consisting of around 200 individuals returned to Pakistan on Tuesday from Khost province in Afghanistan, according to local media sources. The families were displaced during a military operation in June 2014.

Those returning said lack of facilities and other problems across the border forced them to return to Pakistan.

“We hope the government will soon allow us to return to our native hometowns since the law and order in North Waziristan has improved,” one of the displaced men told reporters.

A Pakistani official said to Pakistan’s Express Tribune that registration staff at the border have received at least 2,400 families from Khost, Afghanistan, so far.

Pakistani officials estimate between 30,000 and 40,000 refugees have been living in Khost since June 2014, while the total number of refugees from North Waziristan is at least 100,000.

Hundreds of Migrants Arrive on Eastern Aegean Islands

The Greek ANA-MPA news agency reported on Sunday that more than 300 migrants and refugees reached the eastern Aegean islands last week.

The figure reflects those who arrived on the islands from Tuesday to Sunday – 270 migrants arrived on the island of Lesbos, while 84 people arrived on Chios and three reached Samos.

The number of migrants and refugees stuck on Lesbos under the E.U.–Turkey deal came to 2,960 people, while 2,480 people remained on Chios and 1,059 on Samos, the agency said.

The agency added that almost 6,500 migrants in Greece have applied for asylum.

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