American University of Beirut

The Global Relevance of the Global Compact on Refugees: Improving Refugee Rights in Lebanon and Jordan

​​​​​​​Working Paper

Elisabeth Kinsky, Senior Legal Officer in the Refugee Status Determination process in Cairo

Refugee Research and Policy Program, April 2020

​​Executive Summary

In December 2018, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) was signed by all UN Member States except the United States, signaling a global dedication to solving the global refugee crisis. The Global Compact’s primary aim is to create a system for predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing for protecting refugees among all signatory Member States, whilst collaborating with stakeholders to improve the plight of refugees on a global scale. This paper will assess whether the Global Compact on Refugees can be an insightful tool when it comes to understanding Lebanon and Jordan’s institutional and legal failings towards refugee communities, focusing predominantly on the envisioned changes within the Global Compact on Refugees relative to the protection of refugee rights. It will hone in on the protection of refugee rights in these two host-countries, specifically taking stock of the legal frameworks of four key issues outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees relating to the legal protection of refugees, namely registration and documentation, identifying international protection needs, statelessness, and jobs and livelihood, in the hopes of determining to what extent the Global Compact can be implemented to improve the rights situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

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