RAMALLAH, Saturday, September 18, 2021 (WAFA) - The Minister of Labor in the new Lebanese government, Mustafa Bayram, said today that he supports changing laws that discriminate against the Palestinian refugees living in his country.
He told Palestine TV that he will do what he can to make sure the Palestinian people do not remain subject to injustice or treated unfairly in their host country.
Almost half a million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees in Lebanon with half of them living in 12 refugee camps under dire conditions characterized by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice. Palestinians in Lebanon do not enjoy several important rights; for example, they cannot work in as many as 39 professions and cannot own property.
Most are receiving UNRWA assistance in the country, including cash assistance, education, health care, and protection.
"I say to my Palestinian friends: I will be their voice of support when it (their situation) is brought before the cabinet," said the Labor Minister, adding that he will do what he can "to amend laws that deny justice for Palestinians in Lebanon with regard to labor rights in a manner that does not conflict with Lebanese laws and the interest of the Lebanese worker." Bayram said he will "spare no effort" to cooperate with others "who have constructive suggestions on this matter" in order to remove "the obstacles that prevent real progress in the issue of work rights for the Palestinian refugee in Lebanon." He stressed that the Palestinian is a catalyst in revitalizing the Lebanese economy because he lives and works in Lebanon and contributes to the development of the Lebanese economy.
Bayram's statements came as Palestinians marked the 39th anniversary of the massacre of several thousand Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut in 1982, immediately following the Israeli occupation of the Lebanese capital.