Views And Reviews Personal View

The most vulnerable refugees are not in Europe

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 21 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3432
  1. Nikesh Parekh, clinical research fellow and GP trainee
  1. Department of Medicine, Audrey Emerton Building, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton BN2 5BE, UK
  1. n.parekh{at}

Remember the millions of people camped on Syria’s borders

Recent attention to the plight of refugees escaping the war in Syria has focused on those trying to cross the Mediterranean to safety in Europe. But the most deprived refugees, those who don’t have the resources to attempt such a journey, have been forgotten.

European leaders must shift attention back to these millions of refugees stranded in camps close to Syria’s borders. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that about 1.5 million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, for example, making up a quarter of its population.1 Lebanon is restricting further entry to refugees, but the Syrian conflict remains bloody, with no end in sight.

Children with no citizenship

Lebanon has a “no …

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