Lebanese Economy Minister Amin Salam has expressed his rejection of the recent campaign against Syrian workers in Lebanon over their domination of the market, accusing them of being responsible for the country’s economic collapse.
The Minister explained that Syrians have been working in Lebanon for more than 40 years, pointing out that the work sectors in which the Syrian works in Lebanon are completely different from those in which the Lebanese work, and mentioned that the Syrian worker in Lebanon works more hours for less pay, which makes the Lebanese employer want to employ the Syrian worker more than the others.
The “Syria TV” site quoted an anonymous source from the Lebanese Ministry of Labor who said that the number of Syrian workers who obtained licenses from the Ministry of Labor was around 3,000, while the number of Syrians in low-skilled jobs in the unorganized market is estimated at around 700,000.
He pointed out that most Syrian workers do not obtain all their rights from employers, such as insurance, allowances and bonuses, and in most cases their wages do not exceed the minimum wage, and do not not reach it.
It should be noted that Lebanese officials have always linked the economic crises plaguing the country to the displacement crisis, to mask their dismal failure in running the country. Last March, Lebanese President Michel Aoun renewed his racist rhetoric against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, saying that his country is no longer able to bear the burdens and burdens of Syrian displacement, considering that the most serious challenges of current crises are the massive emigration abroad of the Lebanese elites.
Numerous racist statements have been made by Lebanese officials against Syrian refugees, to whom Hezbollah has helped displace them from their homes in various Syrian towns and villages. Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil previously said in a statement that Lebanon “has produced prophets and saints, and no refugee will replace us there. Neither a displaced nor a corrupt,” indicating racism towards the Syrians.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon suffer from very poor economic conditions, as the UNHCR stated in October 2020, “around 90% of Syrians in Lebanon now live below the poverty line, compared to 55% the previous year”, this which pushes them to flee in an attempt to achieve a better life.