As the period of displacement increases and vulnerabilities worsen, the proportion of both (increasingly younger) refugee youth out of school and those seeking informal employment may increase, exacerbating existing tensions, including in those areas selected for activities through this project.
Prospects for Syrian refugee youth out of school are particularly dire, in the light of the risk of youth becoming exposed to illegal and exploitative labour. It is estimated that 90 per cent of refugee youth have indicated their willingness to do any work available on account of their dire need, potentially exposing them to a range of protection risks.
A correlation between conflict, unemployment and poverty was also reported with 32 per cent of Syrian male youth in Lebanon aged 19–24 years reporting that they knew people who have returned to Syria to join the fighting because of (a) economic conditions, (b) the inability to find work, (c) tension within the family, and (d) pressure from the host community.
In light of these challenges, there is a need to urgently engage Lebanese and Syrian ‘youth at risk’, emphasizing the importance of providing meaningful opportunities, including through employment and vocational training, in order to reduce any potential for violence between (and within) the two communities.