Report

Into the unknown: Listening to Syria’s displaced in the search for durable solutions

Published 22. Jun 2020
Over 50 Syrian and international NGOs published a report calling for action by participants of the upcoming Brussels IV Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region to support people displaced in and from Syria in their search for an end to displacement.

We live in the unknown and head towards the unknown” - Internally displaced man in northeast Syria


Over 50 Syrian and international NGOs published a report calling for action by participants of the upcoming Brussels IV Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region to support people displaced in and from Syria in their search for an end to displacement. Research that was conducted to better understand the views and preferences of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees found that very few see themselves as holding a viable prospect for a durable solution – safe return and sustainable reintegration, local integration or resettlement –in the coming years.

The qualitative interviews showed a clear discrepancy between people’s preferred plans for the future and the options they considered open to them in the next 5 to 10 years. While a clear preference to return or move abroad if certain conditions were met was expressed by many, the only option that both IDPs and refugees widely considered available to them in the next 5 to 10 years was to stay where they are.

The report explores current barriers and makes recommendations for participants of the Brussels IV Conference:

  • Inside Syria: improving conditions in areas of return, relocation and settlement, arguing that while the primary responsibility for the changes required to unlock durable solutions lie with the state authorities in Syria, coordinated action is needed across political, humanitarian, human rights, development and peace-building spheres to support people and influence change
  • Outside Syria: responsibility-sharing at the heart of long-term hosting including appropriate development support, and solutions for those who cannot return including through resettlement
  • Participatory planning for solutions, putting Syrians at the heart of coordinated efforts to support informed decision-making, self-reliance and inclusion