In Lebanon, the plight of Syrian refugee women, particularly regarding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), highlights critical issues at the intersection of refugee rights and gender justice. Commissioned by UN Women and conducted by Triangle, this analytical study delves into the complexities of accessing justice for SGBV among this vulnerable group. Lebanon’s ongoing humanitarian and economic crises, further strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, have rendered the legal and social protection landscape for Syrian refugees increasingly precarious. The study responds to alarming data indicating significant violence against women within the Syrian refugee community, much of which goes unreported, with survivors often unable to access necessary support services.

Utilizing a mixed-methods approach of quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, the research explores barriers at institutional, social, and individual levels that hinder Syrian refugee women’s access to justice. These include discriminatory legal frameworks, entrenched patriarchal norms, economic dependencies, and limited legal literacy. Findings reveal profound challenges faced by these women in navigating both formal and informal justice pathways. The formal justice system’s inefficiencies, exacerbated by pandemic constraints, make legal redress particularly challenging. Meanwhile, accessible community-based dispute resolution mechanisms often perpetuate gender biases and fail to deliver fair outcomes.

The study offers recommendations to improve access to justice, such as enhancing the capacity and sensitivity of law enforcement and legal professionals towards SGBV cases, reforming discriminatory laws and policies, and bolstering economic support to reduce women’s vulnerability. It also emphasizes the need for better coordination between governmental and non-governmental entities to create a more responsive and equitable justice system for Syrian refugees. By addressing systemic barriers and the immediate needs of SGBV survivors, the study provides actionable strategies for humanitarian and development actors to support Syrian refugee women in Lebanon, ensuring their right to justice is upheld.

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