Legal Identity and Housing, Land and Property Rights of Syrian Refugees from a Durable Solutions Perspective

Published 14. Dec 2021

Access to legal identity and civil documentation – such as the documentation of births, marriages, and deaths – is a basic human right, and a prerequisite to the realisation and enjoyment of a number of broader socio-economic rights, such as health, education, and the ability to secure Housing, Land, and Property (HLP) assets. In the context of displacement, the right to legal identity and HLP rights are critical to achieving durable solutions and provide a foundation on which those who decide to return can rebuild their lives.

This report, initiated by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and UNHCR, explores from a durable solutions perspective the key challenges Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) face to access civil documentation and HLP rights. Specifically, it focuses on the issues of death registration, civil registration for families with missing relatives, and the link between a lack of civil documentation and the enjoyment of HLP rights.

The report is based on in-depth legal analysis and quantitative and qualitative research, informed by over 30 focus groups discussions and interviews with some 170 key stakeholders.

Based on an analysis of the reality on the ground, it highlights how gaps in these areas can be addressed through a series of recommendations targeting the Government of Syria and host country governments, humanitarian and development actors, and donors.