Organisation in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2015

  London – December 21th 2016   The Palestinian Return Centre launches its latest report titled:   “Palestinians in Egypt: Assessing the Impact of Egyptian State Policies and Regulations on Palestinian Refugees”   Former Egyptian prime minister infamously said in 1948 : “Work [would] make Palestinians forget their homeland”. This quote perfectly symbolises Egypt’s attitude towards its Palestinian citizens ever since the Nakba.   This report sheds light on the largely uncovered situation of the over 70,000 Palestinian refugees currently residing in Egypt. It is intended to provide a general overview of the Palestinian community in Egypt, a forgotten community that continues to face discriminatory laws and practices on a day-to-day basis.       This study analyses the state policies and measures that ultimately result in protection gaps, outright denial or heavily regulated access to legal status, mobility, employment, education, government services and property ownership. It is apparent that existing protection gaps are the result of Egypt’s unwillingness to ensure the rights of Palestinians refugees. An example of this unwillingness is demonstrated in the deliberate exclusion of Palestinian refugees from a number of international conventions and UN-related agencies, including protection and assistance from the 1951 Refugee Convention or agencies such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).   The report also examines the precarious situation of Palestinians from Syria in Egypt who are especially vulnerable to serious protection gaps. The state does not allow Palestinian refugees from Syria to register with UNHCR, referring to Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Also known as the “exclusion clause” contained in the first paragraph of Article 1D, it stipulates that Palestinian refugees do not fall under UNHCR’s mandate in areas where UNRWA provides protection or assistance, like in Syria. But because they do not receive the UNRWA services while in Egypt, Palestinians in fact fall under the competence of UNHCR. There have been reports of Egyptian authorities engaging in deporting, prospecting, and even coercively forcing refugees to leave the country. The precariousness of statelessness for Palestinians seeking refuge is a product of the state’s unwillingness to implement human rights conventions and international customary principles.   The report concludes with recommendations addressed to the Egyptian state, urging authorities to respect the human rights of Palestinians and ensure their access to basic civil rights and social mobility.   To download the report please click here
  London - 22 Nov 2016   The London-based Palestinian Return Center (PRC) and the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) issued a semi-annual report entitled “Palestinians of Syria: Between Displacement and Disappearance” and documenting the situation of Palestinian refugees for the period from January 2016 up to June 2016.   The report kept record of the death of 3,247 Palestinian refugees and the detention of over 1,100 others in war-torn Syria. At the same time, 220,000 Palestinians sought asylum out of Syria, 80,000 among whom got through to Europe.   The report is divided into seven sections. The first part covers the situation of the Palestinians of Syria in refugee camps and communities in the beleaguered Syrian territories, mostly in Yarmouk, Khan Al-Sheih, Al-Sayida Zeinab, Al-Husseiniya, Al-Sbiena, Jaramana, Khan Dannun, Deraa, Al-Neirab, Handarat, Homs-based Al-Aydeen, Hama-based Al-Aydeen, and Al-Raml refugee camps.   The second part sheds light on the mountainous journey endured by the Palestinian-Syrian Diaspora in Lebanon, Gaza, Turkey, and Europe.   Four sections are, meanwhile, devoted to the deadly risks run by the Palestinians of Syria on the asylum-seeking road and the initiatives embarked on by European institutions to rein in the crisis.   The last section spotlights the death toll and number of detainees among the Palestinian-Syrian refugee community.   AGPS documented the death of 3,247 Palestinian refugees due to war-related incidents and accidents, both inside and outside of Syria, since the outburst of deadly hostilities until June 2016.   The raging war took away the lives of 173 Palestinian refugees, including 115 civilians and 58 gunmen, during the first half of 2016.   According to the report, several refugees housed in such refugee camps as Al-Sbiena and Handarat have been forced out of their shelters. Meanwhile, less than 3,000 refugees, out of a total of 220,000 refugees, have remained in Yarmouk Camp after over half of its residents have been displaced to nearby towns for fear of being killed in the deadly offensives. At the same time, 12,000 Palestinians have remained in Khan Al-Sheih Camp, which had been shielding nearly 22,000 refugees prior to the war.   The majority of those displaced from their places of residence have sought refuge in areas controlled by the government battalions or the opposition outfits. Others fled to Turkey, Europe, East Asian Countries, and the Americas, seeking a safer refuge for their children.   The report indicates that 80,000 Palestinian refugees reached out to Europe up to the second half of 2016.   The fact-based data provided in the 100-page report has been complied by a team of on-the-spot correspondents, field observers, eye-witnesses, researchers, analysts, and professional journalists.   Four reports on the situation of the Palestinians of Syria during the first and second halves of 2014 and 2015, among several other documentary accounts, were previously released by PRC and AGPS.   To download the report please click here  
Friday 30th September 2016 - PRC launches its latest research publication.  This report, written by Yasmin Nour, presents an informative account of the Palestinian people in relation to the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This set of 17 goals and 169 targets is the globally agreed blueprint of the development agenda for the next fifteen years. The Palestinian issue is as old as the UN itself, with the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”, of 1948 creating the world’s longest standing refugee crisis.
  On Tuesday 10th May 2016, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), SNP Friends of Palestine (SNPFoP), Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME), Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine (LDFP) organized a roundtable discussion in the Houses of Parliament chaired by Tommy Sheppard MP. The seminar commemorated the events of the Nakba, the ‘catastrophe’.
On the 25th of April 2016, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) organised a seminar in the UK Parliament to discuss the plight of Christians in Palestine. The event was hosted by Geraint Davies MP and speakers included: H.E. Ambassador Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK; Leila Sansour, film producer; Dr. Adeeb Ziadeh, is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK; Jeremy Moodey is Chief Executive of the Christian charity Embrace the Middle East.      
  On Monday 21st March, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) and SNP Friends of Palestine held a seminar in the House of Commons hosted and chaired by Tommy Sheppard MP. The seminar focused on the issues faced by the Palestinian refugees of Syria, in light of the 5th year anniversary of the Syrian crisis. The discussion explored how Palestinian refugees remain particularly vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict in Syria.   View the report here   
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