Going to Europe: A Syrian Perspective

The Danish Refugee Council in the Middle East have conducted several informal discussion groups with Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to canvass refugees' perceptions and attitudes about going to Europe. Read about the findings and the full report here - and a link to how DRC think, the international community should address this.

Key findings from the report:

  • The preferred durable solution amongst Syrian refugees is safe and dignified return to a Syria that is free of conflict, though many are realizing that this option may not be possible for some time
  • Conditions in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are the main driver for Syrians to consider onward movement, compounded by a prevailing sense of the protracted nature of the conflict in Syria.
  • The pursuit of viable livelihoods (accompanied by the legal right to work), education, medical care, and increased aid are all motivations for the journey to Europe.
  • Syrian refugees have varied and sometimes idealized expectations of life in Europe. Information is passed primarily by word-of-mouth through community connections and is not always reliable.
  • The risks and challenges of the journey to Europe are known to Syrian refugees, though for many these risks are considered to be “worth it.”
  • For some Syrians, concerns about cultural differences in Europe and the distance from Syria make the trip an undesirable option.
  • Syrian refugees are spending considerable sums of money, including going into debt, to take boat journeys to Europe

The information compiled in this report draws on over 50 focus group discussions and 444 household interviews with men and women in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan conducted in late 2015. Syrian refugees are the focus of this research.

To read the full report click here

To read more about how the international community should address this ahead of the Supporting Syria Conference 2016, click here