Under Pressure: When Refugees Feel Pressured to Leave Their Host Countries

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1 Scopus citations


A significant portion of the global population of 270 million migrants are refugees who were forcibly displaced from and are unable to return to their country of origin for reasons ranging from personal safety to economic instability. Almost 30 million refugees are protected by an international refugee regime, which obliges host states to provide safehaven and protections against forced expulsion. Nonetheless, refugee experiences in host countries are highly varied, including with respect to how welcome they feel in their host states. This matters because refugees that feel pressured to leave may be more likely to look to move on to a third country or return home involuntarily and before conditions are safe to do so. We argue that whether or not refugees feel pressured to leave host countries is affected by the varied nature of their quotidian interactions with authorities and regular citizens. To test the validity of this argument we draw upon approximately 1,700 responses to a survey administered among the Syrian refugee population throughout Lebanon in June and July 2018. Our statistical analyses demonstrate that individuals who are registered with the UN and the Lebanese government both feel more pressure to leave the country, as do individuals who are subject to ill treatment at the hands of Lebanese residents or authorities. We also find some tentative evidence that individuals who are not well socially connected within Lebanese society-those that live in predominantly Syrian neighbourhoods in Lebanon-also feel more pressure to leave the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-614
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • Lebanon
  • Refugees
  • Syria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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