May 2010




Feb 2014







Thus, 27 homicides involving female victims occurred over a 46-month period (0.58 homicides reported each month). The husband was the perpetrator in 70 per cent of the homicides. In 22 per cent of the cases, the accused were blood relatives of the victim (father, brother or son).

The Ministry of Social Affairs cooperates with the concerned nongovernmental organizations to provide shelter to women victims of domestic violence based on annual contracts concluded with these organizations according to specific standards and rules. The services provided by these organizations include intake, sheltering, health and medical care, social, psychological and occupational rehabilitation programmes and preparation for integration in society. These organizations run six centres. Five are located in Mount Lebanon and one is located in the Bekaa Valley. There is also an outpatient centre in the governorate of Mount Lebanon for the intake, rehabilitation and social reintegration of female victims of prostitution and females released from prison. There are two centres in Beirut for the outpatient care and rehabilitation of male and female drug addicts.

The ministry is currently working in partnership with an international organization and in cooperation with a nongovernmental organization to establish model centres under the Ministry of Social Affairs in seven Lebanese governorates. The centres are selected according to their adherence to announced regulatory, administrative, and specialized care standards and gender-sensitive standards and ethics embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They serve as spaces for women and girls who are vulnerable to gender-based risk and violence. The centres provide them with safe places and protective services and respond to their needs.

9.Concerning the draft Law on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence:

a.The Chamber of Deputies, in a public session on 1 April 2014, passed a draft Law to Protect Women from Domestic Violence, as amended by the joint parliamentary committees. The law was promulgated as Law No. 293 of 7 May 2014 on the Protection of Women and Other Family Members from Domestic Violence (Official Gazette No. 21 of 15 May 2014) (see Annex 4). The name of the law was a key amendment incorporated in the draft submitted to the Chamber of Deputies by the National Alliance to Legislate a Law to Protect Women from Domestic Violence. Under article 2 of the law, family members include “either spouse; the father and mother of either spouse; siblings; legitimate and illegitimate ascendants and descendants; any persons connected by adoption, relationship by marriage to the second degree, guardianship, wardship or orphan sponsorship; spouse of the mother; or spouse of the father”.

b.Article 2 of the aforesaid law defines “domestic violence” as “any act, refrainment from acting, or threat committed by a family member against one or more family members – as defined in the definition of the family – that entails an offense stipulated in this law and results in homicide or physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”.

c.Article 562 of the Penal Code was repealed in August 2011. That article had provided for a more lenient sentence for a person who kills his wife or a blood relative upon surprising them engaging in the offense of adultery or illegal sexual intercourse in flagrante delicto. The new law does not distinguish this offense from ordinary offenses. Moreover, it strengthens the punishment for a perpetrator of domestic violence and places both sexes on an equal par in multiple articles:

–Article 547 of the Penal Code was amended to read as follows: “Any person who kills a human being intentionally shall be punished by hard labour of 15-20 years. The punishment shall be 20-25 years if the act of homicide is committed by one spouse against the other”.

–Articles 487, 488, and 489 of the Penal Code were amended to read as follows:

•New article 487: “Adultery committed by either of the two spouses shall be punished by imprisonment of 3-24 months. The same punishment shall be imposed on the partner to the adultery if the partner is married; otherwise the partner shall be punished by imprisonment of 1-12 months”.

•New article 488: “Either spouse shall be punished by imprisonment of 1-12 months if the spouse openly takes for himself/herself a lover in any place”.

•New article 489:

o“The act of adultery may not be prosecuted except on the basis of a complaint lodged by one of the spouses, who must also act as a personal plaintiff.

o“Neither the partner nor the accomplice shall be prosecuted except in conjunction with the adulterer.

o“A complaint from a spouse who consented to his/her spouse’s commission of adultery shall be inadmissible.

o“A complaint lodged after the passage of three months from the day the offense came to the knowledge of the plaintiff shall be inadmissible.

o“If a claim against the adulterer is dropped, the public claim and personal claims against any other accused persons in the offense shall be dropped.

o“If the plaintiff consents to the resumption of marital life, the complaint shall be dropped.”

d.Article 503 of the Penal Code previously excluded the husband as a perpetrator of the act of “forcing a spouse to engage in intercourse”. However, Law No. 293 on the Protection of Women and Other Family Members from Domestic Violence, article 3 (7) (a) and (b), makes it a crime for a person to use violence against, or threaten, his spouse with the intent of exacting matrimonial rights to intercourse.

e.The judiciary began to apply the Law on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence as soon as the law was published in the Official Gazette. Several days after the law was published, the summary matters judge in Beirut relied on the law to issue Decision 539/2014 of 31 May 2014. As of 31 December 2014, 36 decisions based on the law were handed down by eleven male and four female summary matters judges in various regions of the Republic of Lebanon. In addition, 30 protective orders have been issued pursuant to the law (six petitions for protective orders have been denied), and 30 men (including 27 spouses, one brother, and one father of female complainants and one unidentified person) were charged, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, fines, damages for medical costs incurred by the victim, payment of periodic income to battered women, injunctions to stay away from a woman and her children, psycho-social rehabilitation, etc. Notably, several judges based their decisions not only on Law 293 but also on the Convention and the Declaration of Human Rights. Nongovernmental human rights organizations documented these judgments and published them in traditional and new media, highlighting the judges’ interpretation of the articles of Law 293. The judgments clearly show an unequivocal intolerance for physical violence and other forms of abuse, particularly psychological, economic, and sexual abuse. Three decisions require the convicted perpetrators to submit to rehabilitation for periods that are subject to change based on the recommendation of the rehabilitation specialist.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

10 and 11. Law No. 164 of 2011 on Punishment of Human Trafficking Offenses (24 August 2011) is a new law. The penal and protective provisions of the law may be strengthened in the light of and through enforcement. The following has been undertaken in this regard:

–Protective provisions of the law: In implementation of the provisions of the law and Executive Decree No. 9082 of 10 October 2012 (which establishes the requirements for contracting with institutions and associations that assist and protect human trafficking victims and which establishes the rules for the provision of assistance), the Minister for Justice concluded an agreement with the Caratis confederation on 26 January 2015. The agreement entered into effect on 1 February 2015. It requires Caratis to conduct intake and sheltering of victims in specialized centres and to provide them with health, psychological and social care and legal advice and assistance to enable them to obtain their rights before the judiciary.

–Under Decree No. 77 of 2 October 2014, the name of the Office for the Protection of Morals in the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces was changed to the Office for Combating Human Trafficking and Protecting Morals. The office was also charged with the additional mission of combating human trafficking offenses. Annex 5 attached to this report contains the following statistical tables issued by the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces:

oNumber of human trafficking victims and offenders according to year.

oNumber of human trafficking victims and offenders according to nationality.

oNumber of minors among human trafficking victims.

oHuman trafficking cases in 2015.

oMonthly statistics on arrests made by the Office for Combating Human Trafficking and Protecting Morals in 2015.

oStatistics on the nationality of females arrested by the Office for Combating Human Trafficking and Protecting Morals in 2015.

oSummary of human trafficking cases in 2014 and 2015.

–Annex 6 contains a table prepared by the General Directorate of General Security showing the number of probable victims who benefited from the “Safe House” according to nationality and the type and treatment of complaints filed by probable victims in 2014.

Participation in political and public life

12.There have been no new developments concerning laws on women’s participation in decision-making posts, particularly senior political posts. However, the Government has made efforts to increase the number of women holding leadership posts in the public administration. In this connection, nine women have been appointed to the post of director general through promotions from grade 2 to grade 1 or through transfers from other cadres, thereby doubling the number of women at grade 1 in public posts.

There are no new developments regarding the draft General Elections Law. The draft has yet to be passed. The NCLW is lobbying and negotiating with Lebanese political circles to introduce special exceptional measures to ensure that women candidates may truly compete than just standing pro forma in elections. The NCLW’s efforts include a series of visits made to officials in cooperation with a number of women’s civil society organizations active in this area.

The NCLW has increased its efforts to train and enable women wishing to stand for election. It has sought to play a coordinating and catalysing role in creating a common formula that has the agreement of the women’s civil society associations and other circles concerned with strengthening women’s participation in political life and in particular promoting female candidates.

Regarding the Municipal Elections Law and the effects of the Personal Status Records Registration Law on women’s rights to stand in elections (which is mentioned in CEDAW/C/LBN/4-5, paragraph 211.2), there are no new developments. In this regard, the “List of issues and questions”, paragraph 12, requests “information on steps being taken to ensure the full implementation of the 20 per cent quota contained in the municipal electoral legislation.” This issue does not concern Lebanon, inasmuch as Lebanese law does not provide for any quota in either general or municipal elections.


13.There have been no new developments concerning the nationality issue in respect of amending the law or Lebanon’s reservation to article 9 (2) of the Convention.


14.A committee has been formed to curb dropping out of school. The committee includes staff of the Educational Centre for Research and Development and professors of the Ministry of Higher Education. The committee is newly formed and has yet to begin its work.

The civics textbooks cover topics relating to gender equality. Textbooks are currently not being reviewed, as efforts are being channelled – in Lebanon’s current difficult situation – to the displaced Syrians’ urgent educational requirements, which dictate prioritizing action to counter fanaticism and renounce extremism, violence and gender-based violence.

15.The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is cooperating with civil society organizations and the NCLW to implement a project for the “incorporation of gender in the public policy of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education”. This cooperation is still in its initial phases with the ministry expected to convene dialogue meetings with the concerned parties to launch a comprehensive vision and outline a plan that specifies gender incorporation priorities and ways of implementing them.

Based on statistics provided in CEDAW/C/LBN/4-5 in connection with article 10 of the Convention, the concerned entities in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education see no need to adopt special measures to encourage girls and boys, either in the capital or suburbs, to transcend gender stereotypes in their educational choices. The State cooperates with civil society organizations in outlying areas in the country to achieve this.

The National Adult Education Programme seeks, with its modest resources, to combat illiteracy among adult men and women through various means. Such means have included the creation of a “life skills” resource package, training in adult education techniques for instructors and the promotion of adult education classes at development service centres throughout Lebanon. National indicators have been developed to measure the quality of literacy programmes together with a programme to evaluate and develop ongoing education services by conducting field studies on willingness to enrol in adult education centres and enrolment incentives. These services add to the basket of State services for the neediest groups of the Lebanese people, particularly in rural areas.


16.The key new development regarding support for working women is the promulgation of Law No. 266 of 15 April 2014 amending provisions of the Civil Service System and Law No. 267 of 15 April 2014 amending provisions of the Labour Law concerning maternity leave, which has been increased in both the public and private sectors to 10 weeks with full pay (Official Gazette No. 17 of 22 April 2014, page 1119). There are no new developments concerning the other issues mentioned in paragraph 16 of the “List of issues and questions”.

Women domestic migrant workers

17 and 18. The Ministry of Labour is in the process of signing memoranda of understanding with several countries that send foreign labourers to Lebanon. Key provisions of the memoranda include the following: there must be a standard written labour contract between the female domestic worker and employer in Lebanon and between the worker and the recruitment office; the contract must be prepared Arabic, English and official language of the foreign worker’s State; and the contract must be certified by that State’s embassy or consulate.

Among other things, the contract must set the worker’s monthly wage and payment method, work hours and weekly break. It must provide for the worker’s round-trip travel ticket and insurance against, and medical care for, occupational diseases and work accidents, and it must specify the labour contract termination date. On 16 July 2014, the ministry referred to the Council of Ministers a draft law for the Government’s approval to join International Labour Organisation Convention 189 on Domestic Workers. However, the Council of Ministers has deferred discussion of the matter. In April 2014, the ministry referred a draft law on decent work for domestic workers to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, which has yet to submit the draft to the Council of Ministers.

In addition to the preceding, the Ministry of Labour also reports that the following measures have been taken:

1.A guide to the rights and duties of women domestic migrant workers has been completed in a number of languages. It is currently being distributed to female foreign workers upon their arrival at the airport and at the concerned departments in the Ministry of Labour.

2.A hotline has been established in the Ministry of Labour (1740). It operates around the clock and provides service in various languages. Action is being taken to upgrade the hotline according to international standards in coordination with the Caratis confederation and the International Labour Organisation. The special hotline unit is staffed by a full-time employee who receives calls and complaints and refers them immediately to the competent departments to be processed.

3.A number of social workers have been attached to the staff of the Ministry of Labour. They have university degrees in counselling and have been trained and qualified to intervene, provide counselling, raise awareness and solve problems encountered by domestic workers.

4.A special unit in the Ministry of Labour (Department of Inspection, Prevention and Safety) has been assigned to follow up all complaints received by the ministry concerning violations of the rights of female domestic migrant workers and to counsel them regarding the legal and judicial measures that should be taken in such cases.

5.Authorized government agents working in the staff of the Ministry of Labour monitor all legal actions submitted to the labour arbitration councils concerning the rights and claims of female domestic migrant workers. The agents express a legal opinion on each case.

6.Offices engaged in recruiting female domestic migrant workers have been reorganized according to international standards for respect of human rights and the combating of human trafficking. Labour inspectors have stepped up supervision of the activity of these offices to prevent the exploitation and trafficking of female workers.

7.Labour inspectors in the ministry receive training and preparation concerning international labour standards and laws on combating human trafficking.

8.The Ministry of Labour has adopted the method of blacklisting certain employers who mistreat female workers to prevent them from importing and using female workers.

9.Efforts are made to encourage an ongoing, direct dialogue between the Union of Labour Recruitment Offices and the Ministry of Labour. A dialogue conference held on 26 November 2014 produced a number of effective recommendations on the regulation of recruitment offices and protection of female workers’ rights.

10.A direct constructive dialogue was initiated with the embassies of labour exporting States. Efforts are currently being made to sign agreements with several such States, particularly those whose citizens are prohibited from working in Lebanon.

11.The role of the National Management Committee established under Government Decree No. 40/2007 of 10 April 2007 is being reactivated. The committee is in the process of reviewing the system currently in effect with a view toward revising it consistent with international standards.

12.Employers are required to obtain mandatory disability insurance policies for foreign wage workers and domestic workers. These policies must provide compensation for permanent total or partial disability in the event a foreign worker is subjected to an accident during his/her work. Employers must cover the expenses of a foreign worker’s recuperation in the event of illness or accident during work.

13.The ministry participates actively in all committees concerned with the protection of migrant workers’ rights and the combating of human trafficking offenses.

On the question concerning the Ministry of Labour’s public rejection of an initiative by the National Federation of Labour Unions to establish a domestic workers union, the Ministry of Labour reports that it is keen to protect women domestic workers’ rights, adding that a permit was not issued to the General Union of Cleaning Workers and Social Care in Lebanon because it does not meet the legal requirements stipulated by the Labour Law for obtaining the Ministry for Labour’s approval to establish a union.

The General Directorate of General Security reports that it provides women domestic migrant workers, immediately upon their arrival in Lebanon, with booklets explaining their rights and duties and listing contact information of law enforcement agencies and the Lebanese Red Cross.


19 .Primary health care centres are located in all regions of Lebanon. In 2014, 28 new centres were added to the network. These centres perform a vital function in serving disadvantaged areas with a high concentration of displaced persons. Private institutions play an active role in managing these centres, 60 per cent of which are affiliated with private institutions.

Distribution of primary health care centres according to governorate



Mount Lebanon






Number of healthcare centres in 2015








Medical facilities in Lebanon in 2015


Government hospitals

Private hospitals

Dialysis centres

Number as of 2015


30 (+4 under construction)



In 2014, the Ministry of Public Health launched a programme for the care of pregnant women and new-borns. The programme is designed to improve and assure the quality of services provided to mothers, lower the cost of services required by pregnant women, provide counselling and facilitate obtainment of services and ensure the healthy growth of children up to age two. The programme is being implemented in the Rashaya Government Hospital, Rafiq al-Hariri Government University Hospital, Tripoli Government Hospital, Wadi Khalid Health Care Centre and Sayyida al-Salam Hospital in Halba.

A committee has been formed under the chair of the Ministry of Health Director General to study and document maternal mortality. The Ministry of Public Health is in the process of updating service delivery guidelines for reproductive health services and the training of service providers in the use of such services.

The Primary Health Care Program provides contraceptive means at primary health care centres and at clinics and centres that provide reproductive services to displaced Syrians.

Reduction in childhood and maternal mortality in Lebanon



Under-five mortality rate per thousand



Infant mortality rate per thousand births



Maternal mortality rate per 100 000 live births



Concerning mental health, in May 2014, the Ministry of Public Health launched the National Mental Health Program with support from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the International Medical Corps. The programme aims to reform mental health care in Lebanon and provide community-based services that go beyond medical care in line with human rights and the most current scientific evidence to improve interventions. The programme has trained physicians and nurses from 50 primary health care centres in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in mental health frameworks.

Concerning abortion, there have been no new legislative developments since Lebanon’s submission of its previous reports, particularly its second periodic report (2004). Lebanese law (articles 539-546 of the Penal Code) prohibits abortion except in cases of therapeutic abortion. Therapeutic abortions may be performed based on the conditions and reservations specified in article 32 of Medical Ethics Law No. 288 of 22 February 1994, which are as follows:

–An abortion must be the only means to save a mother whose life is in grave danger.

–The attending physician or surgeon must consult two physicians who perform a medical examination, deliberate, and agree that the mother’s life can only be saved through an abortion. The pregnant woman must consent to the abortion after having been informed of her condition. If she is unconscious or in serious danger, and the therapeutic abortion is necessary to save her life, the physician must perform the abortion despite the objection of her husband or her relatives.

No statistics are available on abortions performed in private clinics or homes, which are an unsafe environment. Statistics are available to the Ministry of Health only from hospitals. A sample of statistics for 2012 is attached to this report (Annex 7).

Marriage and family relations

20.The bill to regulate optional civil marriage in Lebanon was submitted by the former Minister for Justice to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on 18 January 2014. On 27 February 2014, the current government, after it was formed, returned the bill to the Ministry of Justice for submission to the new minister, which is procedure followed in matters that have not yet been submitted to the Council of Ministers. The bill remains with the Ministry of Justice as of the date of the present report. There have been no new developments regarding the proposed law mentioned in paragraph 203.2 of CEDAW/C/LBN/Q/4-5 concerning a civil personal status code. The efforts envisaged to ensure that Lebanese women and men who belong to any sect are able to conclude a civil marriage in the Lebanon are floundering due to the current situation.

There are no new developments regarding the steps taken by Lebanon to withdraw its reservations to article 16 (1) (c), (d), (f) and (g) of the Convention (concerning marriage and family relations), inasmuch as the matter pertains to the upholding of the personal statuses guaranteed by article 9 of the Constitution for the Lebanese confessional groups in the absence of a consolidated personal status law or family law.

21.Regarding child marriage and data indicating that child marriage rates are higher in rural areas than in other areas, key initiatives have been undertaken to limit this practice. In 2014, the NCLW organized a campaign with the participation of civil society institutions and organizations. The campaign included a study on childhood marriage, which the NCLW followed up by preparing a proposed law subjecting the marriage of minors to the prior authorization of a juvenile judge under the heading of the State’s duty to protect minors. Article 4 of the proposed law requires the judge, before making a proper decision, to order a social work investigation and to hear the minor, one or both of the minor’s parents, the minor’s legal guardian, or the persons responsible for the minor and to hear the person seeking marriage or whomever that person deems appropriate.

On 29 September 2014, the proposed law was submitted to parliament and registered under No. 30/2014. On 14 October 2014, it was adopted by the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. It is currently being studied in the concerned parliamentary committees (see Annex 8 for the text of the proposed law).

Optional protocol and amendment to article 20 (1) of the Convention

22.Lebanon’s refrainment from ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention goes back to 2002 when the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers requested the opinion of the Legislation and Consultation Commission in the Ministry of Justice on the matter. The NCLW stated in its opinion, which was approved by the director general of the Ministry of Justice at the time, that “it deems it appropriate to refrain from signing the protocol and in all cases for Lebanon to declare that it does not recognize, as provided in article 10 of the Protocol, the competence of the Committee to designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and that Lebanon would not take into account, in response to such an inquiry, the measures recommended by the Committee”. Accordingly, there is no change in Lebanon’s position on this matter.

Regarding Lebanon’s position on the amendment of article 20 (1) of the Convention, the opinion of the Legal Consultations, Research and Documentation Centre in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the matter was obtained. The centre concludes that “there is no legal impediment to ratification of the amendment after the Ministry of Justice’s opinion is obtained in preparation for initiating legal measures for ratification”. There is thus no change in Lebanon’s position on this matter.

Finally, the Committee requested judicial information regarding the following three issues:

–Violence against women (paragraph 8 of the “List of issues and questions”): the convictions and sentences imposed in offenses involving the killing of women.

–Trafficking and exploitation of women in prostitution (paragraph 10 of the “List of issues and questions”): the number of cases investigated and prosecutions under Law No. 164 of 2011 on Punishment of Human Trafficking Offenses.

–Regarding health (paragraph 19 of the “List of issues and questions”): the number of women who have been held in detention and sentenced for having undergone an abortion in Lebanon within the reporting period, including information on the length of such detention.

There are no statistics or official compiled databases that can be used to provide the aforesaid information. The Ministry of Justice will therefore be requested to provide the requested information.

List of Annexes

Annex 1: Proposed law on a national commission for human rights, including a committee for the prevention of torture.

Annex 2: Decree No. 5734 of 29 September 1994 on the Regulation of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Annex 3: Law Establishing the National Commission for Lebanese Women (Law No. 720 of 5 November 1998).

Annex 4: Law No. 293 of 7 May 2014 on the Protection of Women and Other Family Members from Domestic Violence.

Annex 5: Tables prepared by the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces showing human trafficking cases and statistics for 2014 and 2015.

Annex 6: Statistical tables prepared by the General Directorate of General Security showing the number of probable victims who benefited from the “Safe House” according to nationality and the type and treatment of complaints filed by probable victims in 2014.

Annex 7: Statistical table of abortion cases in 2012.

Annex 8: Proposed law on the regulation of the marriage of minors.