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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Monday, 2 November 2015 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Lebanon

Represented by ten-member delegation headed by Ms. Najla Riachi Assaker, Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Lebanon page on UPR website.

Troika *

Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Venezuela

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on Lebanon page on UPR Extranet **)

  • The situation in the region was one of the major developments, since the previous review, which affected Lebanon and made it face several difficulties and challenges.
  • Despite the multiple crises it faced,  Lebanon remained determined and committed to protect human rights and fulfil its human rights obligations;
  • Whenever they existed, violations were not a common phenomenon. Civil society organisations and human rights activists were playing a positive role in the country;
  • Despite the fact that Lebanon was s a small country with limited economic and financial resources and an unstable political situation, the country  remained open to refugees and those seeking safe harbour;
  • Lebanon cooperated with OHCHR and all other specialized agencies on the issue of displaced persons but the demographic explosion was threatening Lebanon’s existence. The international community should support Lebanon in dealing with what was labelled as a “national catastrophe”;
  • Regarding the increase in the number of prisoners, efforts were made to reduce it though a number of steps including the reduction of one-year prison sentences to nine month, the building of new prisons and the speeding-up of trials;
  • Lebanon had also made determined efforts to combat torture in places of detentions. A law on the establishment of a national human right commission in line with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture had been transferred to the Parliament for approval;
  • Juvenile delinquents were covered by a special law providing for their protection which also foresaw a separate juvenile justice system;
  • The child labour commission had launched a national plan to eliminate the worst forms of labour;
  • On trafficking, an act recognized trafficking in persons as a crime in itself and provided for protection to victims and witnesses;
  • The Ministry of social affairs had implemented a number of programmes to help integrate persons with disabilities through a rights-based approach.
  • The delegation reiterated Lebanon’s commitment to fight terrorism and its causes. Lebanon had faced some difficult times owing to an interplay of factors.

Participants

In total 98 States participated in the dialogue:  35 HRC members and 63 observers  (Statements available on Lebanon page on UPR Extranet)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Lebanon’s hosting of refugees from neighbouring countries, including over one million displaced persons from Syria; 
  • Efforts to improve access to education for refugee children;
  • The National Strategy for Women 2011-2021;
  • The adoption of the law concerning domestic violence;
  • Extending a standing invitation for Special Procedures;
  • The adoption of the National Plan for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • The rights of displaced persons in Lebanon, particularly Syrian and Palestinian refugees;
  • Steps to prevent torture and investigate all related allegations;
  • Advancing the rights of women and eliminating discrimination against women;
  • Upholding the rights of migrant workers;
  • Prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity;
  • Promoting and protecting the rights of the child.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Lebanon.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To take all measures to guarantee the rights of displaced persons in Lebanon; To facilitate the attainment of legal status for displaced persons in Lebanon; 
  • To take additional measures to improve the situation of Palestinian refugees;
  • To establish a moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty de jure;
  • To fully implement the OPCAT; To establish a national preventive mechanism in accordance with OPCAT;
  • To prohibit all acts of torture and ensure all such acts were investigated and perpetrators punished;
  • To improve prison conditions;
  • To take further measures to eradicate discrimination against women; To amend legislation where necessary to bring them in line with the CEDAW and withdraw reservations to the CEDAW;
  • To develop a strategy to combat child labour; To take further steps to ban child marriages;  To raise the age of criminal responsibility from 7 to 12 years;
  • To improve the situation of migrant workers and amend the Labour Code to extend legal protection to domestic workers; To abolish the sponsorship “kafala” system;
  • To secure human rights of LGBT persons and to decriminalise homosexuality; To pass legislation that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • To establish an independent national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: ILO Convention 87 (right of all workers to freely organize), ILO Convention 189 (domestic workers), the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the Convention on enforced disappearances, the Status of Refugees Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, the 2nd OP to the ICCPR, the Rome Statute of the ICC, the OP to the CRC on children in armed conflict, the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and the OP to the ICESCR.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report -recommendations section- of the UPR Working Group on Lebanon is scheduled to take place on Friday, 6 November 2015

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts:
Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711,
rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

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