Legal Issues

Legal and Policy Framework of Migration Governance

This report aims to provide a contextual understanding of migration governance in the Lebanese context, as well as its implications for refugees and migrants. Towards this end, this report provides an overview of the legal and policy framework in Lebanon, notably within the context of the Syrian refugee crisis erupting in 2011. Moreover, the report critically evaluates the legal statuses – if any – pertaining to ‘asylum seekers’, ‘refugees’, and ‘migrants’ on the one hand, and the role of state and non-state actors on the other.

Precarity in Exile: The Legal Status of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Lebanon has had an ambiguous approach to the more than one million Syrians seeking protection in the country since 2011. The country is neither party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, nor does it have any national legislation dealing with refugees. In October 2014, Lebanon’s Council of Ministers adopted the first comprehensive policy on Syrian displacement, one explicit goal of which is to decrease the number of Syrians in Lebanon by reducing access to territory and encouraging return to Syria.

Pushed to the edge: Syrian refugees face increased restrictions in Lebanon

In May 2015, the Lebanese authorities instructed UNHCR to temporarily suspend registration of Syrian refugees, including individuals already in the country and new arrivals. The authorities stated that this ban would remain in place until a new mechanism for registration of refugees is established. This report focuses on the most recent restrictions introduced in January 2015, and examines the human rights impact of these restrictions coming on top of those previously imposed.

Examining Sexual Harassment Draft Laws in Lebanon: Women's Equal Right to Public Space

In light of recent proposals for legislation againsts sexual harassment (SH) in Lebanon, this policy brief explores the subject of SH in public, institutional and workplace settings. The paper dissects the two draft laws presented by MP Ghassan Moukheiber and Minister of State for Women's Affairs, Jean Ogasapian, and provides policy suggestions and recommendations.

Unequal and Unprotected: Women's Rights Under Lebanese Personal Status Law

Lebanon does not have a civil code regulating personal status matters. Instead, there are 15 separate personal status laws for the country’s different recognized religious communities including twelve Christian, four Muslim, the Druze, and Jewish confessions, which are administered by separate religious courts. Religious authorities often promoted this judicial pluralism as being essential to protecting Lebanon’s religious diversity.

Justice for Stability: Addressing the impact of mass displacement on Lebanon’s justice system

This policy brief outlines options for strengthening rule of law in Lebanon to improve access to justice for both Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees. It discusses stopgap measures for the temporary stay of Syrian refugees in the country and highlights opportunities for long-term reform of the justice system. The brief provides recommendations to key actors on actions to reduce the unsustainable pressure on the Lebanese justice system and to ensure protection of the displaced population.

Social Protection for Women Workers in the Informal Economy

This article examines various approaches to the development of social protection schemes for informal women workers and issues facing this process. Sections in the article include 1) Introduction; 2) An Approach to Social Protection; 3) Components of a Social Protection Program for Women Workers; 4) Building Member-Based Organization; 5) Laws and Regulatory Environment; and 6) SEWA: A Case Study. 

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