The protracted refugee situation in the wake of the Syrian conflict has resulted in significant numbers of refugees in Middle East host countries who have family members in third countries. Family members become separated when they are forced to flee at different times, when individuals are lost during flight, or due to economic or security factors that cause families to decide to split up. UNHCR has asked the PFMH to investigate the specific features of family separation as a part of displacement in the MENA region, including how it influences important individual decisions with regards to vulnerability and durable solutions. As displacement has become protracted for Syrians, family reunification pathways provide an essential opportunity for split families to benefit from reunification in safe, orderly and lawful means. While UNHCR and other bodies advocate for reunification, there is little evidence of how family separation impacts the social, emotional or economic lives of refugees in the MENA region. As a result, the Program on Forced Migration and Health is undertaking this study to better understand the relationship between separation and the wellbeing of refugee families. This study is part of the PFMH's broader Syrian Refugee Initiative.
Leinne Ramirez Tamarez
lr2704 [at] cumc [dot] columbia [dot] edu