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The massive Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon has had limited economic and social rights in the country for the last sixty-five years. Lebanese laws that relegate the long-time Palestinian refugee community to second-class status may be inconsistent with international law. Since the 1948 partition of Palestine, there has been a substantial Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the East, there are 450,000 registered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon making up ten percent of Lebanon’s population. The UN also reports that the twelve registered Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon lack resources such as housing, education, and access to health care. Refugee camps in Lebanon suffer from overcrowding, often lack basic plumbing, and frequently experience electrical blackouts. The New York Times reported in 2013 that one camp in South Beirut covers just a third of a mile, but is home to tens of thousands of people. The conditions of these camps are filthy and bear the telltale signs of poverty such as dilapidated housing and rampant unemployment. Poor living conditions and unemployment have led the camps to become a breeding ground for militant Islamic groups, including Hezbollah. Although many Palestinian refugee families have lived in Lebanon for generations, they are still not allowed to work legally and are largely excluded by law from Lebanese society. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from African and Asian countries are legally allowed to work in Lebanon, it is extremely difficult for Palestinian refugees to get work visas. A study in 2012 found that only two percent of Palestinians hold a work permit to legally work in Lebanon. Refugees largely subsist off of services provided by UNRWA and receive no assistance from the state of Lebanon. Palestinian refugees are also not allowed to legally buy property in Lebanon and do not have access to state run educational or medical facilities. The refugees often have subpar housing, limited legal status, and there are few opportunities for young Palestinians according to Al-Jazeera. Although Lebanon passed legislation in 2010 making it easier for Palestinians to get work visas, it is still a difficult process and Palestinians continue to be legally barred from practicing law and medicine, or becoming engineers. Even with the new legislation, most Palestinian refugees are forced to work menial, low-paying jobs or resort to illegal black market labor. In 1977 Lebanon ratified the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention and the exclusion of Palestinian refugees from employment is a violation of Article 1(a) of the treaty, which states that “discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation.”  National origin is included on the list of characteristics that employers from signatory nations cannot discriminate against. It is possible that Lebanon’s legalization of employment discrimination against Palestinian refugees, whose families have lived in the country for over half a century, contradicts the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention. Article 3(c) of that treaty states that member nations must “repeal any statutory provisions and modify any administrative instructions or practices” which are inconsistent with the provisions of the treaty. Institutional discrimination against Palestinian refugees that leads to general poverty could be a violation of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Lebanon has been a party to this treaty since 1971.  Article 1 of the treaty defines racial discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life.” The legal restrictions that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face preventing them from employment and access to adequate medical care could qualify as racial discrimination under this treaty. If this is true then the Lebanese government would be contradicting the principles enshrined in the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.