In an effort to remind the Lebanese government of its human rights obligations and to contribute to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism’s endeavours in holding governmental actors accountable, WILPF submitted a statement to the Human Rights Council 47th session on 8 July.
The statement came on the occasion of the adoption of the latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Lebanon, and a pre-recorded video version was aired during the Interactive Dialogue (ID) led by the UPR Working Group.
In the statement, Shirine Jurdi, WILPF International Board member for the MENA region, strongly regretted the Lebanese government’s decision not to support many recommendations fundamental to the protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups, including women and girls, migrant workers and refugees, and LGBTQI+ persons.
Jurdi welcomed the fact that the government supported the recommendation on “the need for increased and equal representation of women in the political spheres.” However, she regretted the lack of full support for the recommendations to implement the law on domestic violence and to abolish the kafala system.
WILPF’s statement concluded by calling on the Lebanese government to establish a clear strategy for fighting corruption in the environmental sector and urging it to amend its legislation in order to bring it in line with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), taking into account the gender impacts of small arms proliferation and arms transfers. The statement also pointed out that Lebanon is among the top military-spending countries and a major importer of small arms.
In addition to contributing to the UPR mechanism’s efforts in holding governmental actors accountable for their human rights obligations, the statement also aimed to raise awareness about the government’s position regarding states’ recommendations, and the issues addressed in them. WILPF considers the latter to be key areas that must be worked on by relevant stakeholders in order to improve the human rights situation, especially during a time of crisis, as the one currently unfolding in the country.
WILPF had submitted a report to the UPR of Lebanon in 2020 in collaboration with the Lebanese civil society organisations Permanent Peace Movement and Centre for Defending Civil Rights and Liberties (CDCRL). The report addressed several human rights issues, including women’s economic and social rights; migrant domestic workers; the gendered impacts of small arms proliferation; and women’s participation in political life.