All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Tina Reuter

Advisory Committee Members

Courtney J Andrews

Loretta A Cormier

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

While there has been an increase in refugees worldwide over the past several years, some groups, namely Palestinian refugees, have been refugees since their expulsion from Palestine in 1948. Many countries have accepted and allowed Palestinian refugees to integrate into their societies, both socially and economically, but Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are not granted many basic rights. One of these is the right to employment, which has been heavily restricted by the Lebanese government. While policy reports have described the detrimental ramifications of this lack of access to employment on Palestinian refugees’ livelihood, almost none of these have documented Palestinian refugees’ perspectives on this issue. Thus, the current study sought to gain the perspectives of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on their lack of access to employment, namely their perceptions of this restricted access to employment, their perceptions of integration in the host country society, and their awareness of employment as a human right. Using a mixed methods study design, the researcher administered a survey and a semi-structured interview to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The researcher found that, similar to what has been documented in the literature, Palestinian refugees’ restricted access to employment has negative ramifications on their standard of living, their mental and emotional well-being, and their ability to integrate into Lebanese society. Further, the researcher found that several of the participants used human rights language in their responses, highlighting that there is awareness that employment is a human right.

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