Report of the secretary general of KRC on the results of the periodic review of the report of Lebanon in front of the Un Human Rights Council
Our participation in the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva in March 2011, is a continuation of the past years’ participation, and of the Centre's role on the international level in defense of human rights, detainees cases, missing persons and against torture.
In this session, the Centre submitted three documents to the Secretary General of the United Nations and distributed them to the participating countries and organizations. The documents, which were adopted as official documents in the 16th session can be obtained at the following link:
The first document, entitled "Situation of Human Rights in Lebanon" was issued under the fourth clause about human rights in general (22/2/2011 A/HRC/16/NGO/7)
The second document is dedicated for the suffering of the Lebanese prisoners and was also been issued under the fourth clause about human rights in general. (17/2/2011 A/HRC/16/NGO/3)
The third document explains the situation of the Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli prisons, issued under the seventh clause about the situation of the Arab countries that are under Israeli occupation (22/2/2011 A/HRC/16/NGO/4)
Khiam Rehabilitation Centre also participated in workshops on torture, missing persons, and female prisoners. We also attended the International Conference Solidarity with the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, and an expanded meeting of the Non-Governmental Organizations with the Secretary-General of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The universal periodic review on Lebanon’s report was held on 17.03.2011, where the President of the Lebanese delegation, who is the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Ambassador William Habib”, announced Lebanon's approval on all recommendations made in the meeting of the periodic review in the November 11, 2010.
The Ambassador "William Habib," claimed that the recommendations are referred to the Lebanese Council, and that Lebanon began preparing the due reports and approved all recommendations on torture and domestic violence, abolition of the crime of honor and the issue of missing persons (Recommendations attached)
Recommendations that were rejected by Lebanon in November 2010, such as the abolition of the death penalty and the personal status laws, remained unchanged (recommendations rejected attached)
Lebanon after the word and the words of some countries and international organizations, announced in my speech on behalf of the Center
After the interventions of Lebanon and some countries and international organizations, in the speech on behalf of Khiam Rehabilitation Centre, I announced my support and praise for Lebanon’s announced approval to all recommendations that were submitted by the President of the Lebanese delegation, but I also expressed concern and fear that these recommendations would be buried in the parliament because they will clash with sectarianism system, which opposes human rights. At this time, Lebanon lies in a "Guantanamo" prison called sectarianism. It is required that the Lebanese get liberated from this prison in order to gain equal rights and dignity.
We also demand a review of the recommendations that were rejected by Lebanon, especially the personal status laws, the abolition of the death penalty and granting the citizenship right to children whose mothers are married to foreigners and to set a timetable for their implementation.
In response, the President of the Lebanese delegation made some non convincing justifications. He blamed the Lebanese citizens and community for sectarianism and he added that sectarianism is rooted in Lebanese souls and that it is a formula to ensure the stability and democracy of Lebanon. He also justified Lebanon’s refusal to the abolition of the death penalty.
In the end, Lebanon’s report at the periodic review of the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council was approved.
After submitting the report:
In 2014, during the UN Human Rights Council meeting, Lebanon will be held accountable for the recommendations that he approved. Therefore, it is required that the government organizes a governmental parliamentary workshop to develop practical mechanisms for the legislation of these recommendations in order to withdraw them from their dormant status.
Despite our fear that these recommendations would clash with the sectarian system, which contrast all human rights principals, we assert that their approval is an important achievement that would enhance the situation of human rights in Lebanon and fulfill the international obligations. That requires that civil society members should unify their efforts, monitor the implementation of those recommendations and urge the Government to fulfill its commitment with the intention that Lebanon attends the scheduled meeting in 4 years and announce respect and implementation of all recommendations.
Alternatively, recommendations that were rejected by Lebanon must also be on the civil society organizations’ agenda to intensify pressure on the Lebanese government and parliament to approve them, especially the civil personal status law, a democratic non sectarian electoral law and accelerate the abolition process of the political sectarianism which is a ticking bomb.
Recommendations that were approved by Lebanon
We state the following:
• Establishing a national institution for human rights
- • Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
• Ratification of the UNESCO Convention for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions
- • Criminalize all forms of torture.
- • Amend the relevant legislation to harmonize the definition of torture in domestic law.
- • Create a national mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, which adhered to by Lebanon in signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture in 2008.
- • Amend the Labor Law to promote legal measures that combat children trafficking
• Adopt a law that protects women from domestic violence.
• Develop a comprehensive policy on the national level to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women
- • Establish a national action plan to provide education for all and improve its quality.
• Continue efforts to stop the Lebanese migration to foreign countries.
- • Establish legal frameworks to ensure respect of migrant workers’ rights, especially domestic workers
- • Activate the amendments of labor law and Social Security Law that grant the Palestinian refugees the right to work
- • Provide the periodic overdue reports that should be submitted according to the international treaties and conventions which Lebanon has agreed on
• Establish a coordinating mechanism at the national level to assess and monitor the Government’s implementation of the
- • Pursue efforts to ensure the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.
• Continue efforts related to the integration of children with disabilities in the formal education system.
• Ratify Geneva Conventions.
• Ratify the international convention for the protection of all persons from Enforced Disappearance.
• Establish an independent national body to investigate the fate of missing persons and victims of enforced disappearances in the context of the various wars that Lebanon has faced.
- • Adopt a process to identify the victims through the preparation of a DNA database and dig mass graves
• Increase the penalties of torture crimes in a range of its current three years to commensurate with the gravity of the crime
• Cancel honor crimes from the Lebanese Penal Code
- • Amend domestic law so it becomes consistent with child rights
• Call for an open and permanent invitation to the holders of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
• Ratify the optional protocols of the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, religious and political rights, protocols of elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the protocol on protection of children in armed conflict.
• Register to the 1951 Convention relating to refugees status and its Additional Protocol.
• Eliminate the death penalty.
• Withdraw of the reservation to article 22 of the Convention against Torture
• Cancel terms of reference of the Ministry of Defense and military courts in the detention and trial of civilians
• Amend the nationality law so that all Lebanese women can be able to grant their nationality to their husbands and children
• Amend the personal status laws to ensure women's rights, particularly in relation to marriage termination, child custody, inheritance and divorce.
• End criminalization of homosexuality and ensure non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity.
• Cancel the sponsorship system and replace it with the regulations consistent with international standards.
• Grant Palestinian refugees the right to own lands and inherit properties