Into the Unknown: Executive Summary

Into the Unknown
Executive Summary
Joint Agency NGO Report

“We live in the unknown and head towards the unknown” - Internally displaced man in northeast Syria

Over 50 Syrian and international NGOs published a report calling for action by participants of the upcoming Brussels IV Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region to support people displaced in and from Syria in their search for an end to displacement. Research that was conducted to better understand the views and preferences of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees found that very few see themselves as holding a viable prospect for a durable solution – safe return and sustainable reintegration, local integration or resettlement –in the coming years.

The qualitative interviews showed a clear discrepancy between people’s preferred plans for the future and the options they considered open to them in the next 5 to 10 years. While a clear preference to return or move abroad if certain conditions were met was expressed my many, the only option that both IDPs and refugees widely considered available to them in the next 5 to 10 years was to stay where they are.

The report explores current barriers and makes recommendations for participants of the Brussels IV Conference:

  • Inside Syria: improving conditions in areas of return, relocation and settlement, arguing that while the primary responsibility for the changes required to unlock durable solutions lie with the state authorities in Syria, coordinated action is needed across political, humanitarian, human rights, development and peacebuilding spheres to support people and influence change
  • Outside Syria: responsibilitysharing at the heart of long-term hosting including appropriate development support, and solutions for those who cannot return including through resettlement
  • Participatory planning for solutions, putting Syrians at the heart of coordinated efforts to support informed decisionmaking, self-reliance and inclusion

Download the full report here.