UPR 37th SESSION: THE REVIEW OF LEBANON
In Accordance with HRC resolution 5/1 and resolution 16/21, the Universal Periodic Review Working Group holds three two-week sessions every year. Each session 14 countries are reviewed, totaling to 42 countries per year and resulting in the review of 193 countries (entire UN membership) by the end of each UPR cycle.
On the 18th of January, the UPR session began with a review of Lebanon. This constitutes the third report of Lebanon under the UPR on the human rights situation.
Mr. Salim Baddoura, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, stressed that the Lebanese Government is very aware of the importance of human rights and the need to promote it on a continuous basis in order to ensure peace and sustainable development.
He also highlighted that there are many challenges facing the country today such as a very serious economic and financial crisis, the turbulent effects of having two governments in under ten months and the disastrous explosion at the Beirut Port that inflicted devastating losses on infrastructure and human lives, leading to a humanitarian crisis further exacerbated by the pandemic.
Furthermore, he noted that these challenges collide with pre-existing issues such as the violation of the Lebanese sovereignty by Israel and the presence of a huge number of Palestinian and Syrian refugees that consequently compound difficulties on strengthening human rights and implementing a fundamental reform that tackles injustices and satisfies the needs and aspirations of the Lebanese people.
Lebanon was commended for:
The establishment of a special unit to combat human trafficking
The adoption of its anti-torture law
The modification of the article 401 of Lebanon’s criminal code to make all acts of torture a criminal offence.
Some recommendations made to Lebanon include :
Bring anti-torture law in compliance with CAT and ensure its full implementation
Continue to adopt those measures necessary aimed at expanding the scope availability and impact of healthcare services at all levels, focusing particularly in response to Covid-19 pandemic.
Establish a comprehensive action plan on children and childhood, including measures to prevent the recruitment of children by armed groups and combat early child marriage.
Modify current Legal framework as regards to nondiscrimination
Strengthen the national policy for solidarity and social cohesion in the face of the socioeconomic and political difficulties
Take specific measures to strengthen the protection for domestic workers, including migrants
Take additional measures to further enhance the safety of journalists and implement the UN plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.