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Eight western diplomats urge Lebanon to boost rights of women, MWDW, LGBTs


On International Human Rights Day, ambassadors of Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Canada, Switzerland and the UK urged the Lebanese government to take serious steps in promoting women’s rights, ban and prevent torture, safeguard the rights of LGBTIQ and protect refugees and the displaced. On the women’s rights front, the diplomats' appeal stated that Lebanon has made insignificant efforts since the recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR), calling on the government to acknowledge the following recommendations, notably, the amendment of the sectarian based personal status code and the nationality law allowing Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese to pass nationality to their children, as well as the adoption of a law that prohibits the marriage of anyone under the age of 18 without any exception. Lebanon’s approval of above recommendations, the diplomats maintained, allows it to embark towards eliminating some of the most significant forms of discrimination and abuse against women and children. Regarding rights of LGBT, the ambassadors voiced concern over Lebanon’s decision to not sign a recent pledge to respect the freedom of expression in the media because it contains a plain text which observes the rights of LGBTs. On refugees and displaced persons, the ambassadors urged Lebanon to implement the international and local legal procedures related to deportation, and to ensure full respect for the principle of non-refoulement, in addition to make sincere efforts to abolish the kafala system which regulates the situation of migrant women domestic workers (MWDW).  (An Nahar, December 10, 2020)

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