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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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Donors Should Urge Government to Respect Right to Education

Update: On May 6, 2021, the education minister announced he had requested the government to allow refugee children without residency documents to take their school examinations this year. (Beirut) – Lebanon’s Education Ministry is blocking Syrian…
Jordan Kid
News

Ensure Greater Information Access

(Beirut) – The Lebanese government’s Covid-19 vaccination program risks leaving behind marginalized communities, including refugees and migrant workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite the government’s promises of an equitable program, the…
A nurse prepares a Covid-19 vaccine syringe at the Saint George Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon on February 16, 2021. © 2021 AP Photo/Hussein Malla
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Two Winters Since Homes Dismantled, Many Refugees in Arsal Unprotected

(Beirut) – Syrian refugees in Arsal, a Lebanese town on the border with Syria, do not have adequate shelters to withstand the harsh winter months, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video showing their dire living conditions. More than 15,…
Children play next to shelters in a Syrian refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon. Around 15,000 Syrian refugees in Arsal are entering their second winter without adequate roofs and insulation since the 2019 directive ordered them to dismantle concrete shelters and rebuild the top portion with tarp and wood. November 2020.
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Syrian refugees in Arsal, a Lebanese town on the border with Syria, do not have adequate shelters to withstand the harsh winter months. More than 15,000 Syrian refugees in Arsal are experiencing their second winter since a 2019 order from the Higher…
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Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
News

UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
News

Reinstate Contract; Amend Labor Law

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s State Shura Council, the country’s top administrative court, delivered a sharp blow to migrant domestic worker rights by suspending the implementation of a new standard unified contract, Amnesty International and Human Rights…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Pushbacks Against Surge of Arrivals by Boat From Lebanon

(Athens) – Cypriot coast guard forces summarily pushed back, abandoned, expelled, or returned more than 200 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers coming from Lebanon during the first week of September 2020 without giving them the opportunity to lodge…
Cyprus coast guard carrying migrants from a boat from Lebanon interdicted on January 14, 2020. © 2020 Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou
News

A Positive Step, But Ensure Enforcement; Amend Labor Law

(Beirut) – The new standard unified contract for migrant domestic workers that Lebanon’s Labor Ministry adopted on September 4, 2020 is a step in the right direction toward protecting domestic workers’ rights and abolishing the abusive kafala (…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Port Explosion Led to Increased Homelessness of Workers Abandoned by Employers

More than a month since the devastating port explosion in Beirut, the situation for many of the estimated 250,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon has gone from dire to catastrophic. The explosion happened amidst an economic crisis that worsened…
An Ethiopian domestic worker waits in front of the Ethiopian consulate after she and others were abandoned by their Lebanese employers, in Hazmieh, east of Beirut, Lebanon, June 4, 2020.
News

Adopt Rights-Respecting Contract for Migrant Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s Labor Ministry should urgently adopt a new standard unified contract that respects and protects the rights of migrant domestic workers as a first step toward abolishing the abusive kafala (sponsorship) system, Human Rights Watch…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News
In early April, about 400 foreign employees of RAMCO, a Lebanese construction, facility, and waste management company, went on strike to demand payment in US dollars and better working conditions. The strike, believed to be the first of its kind among…
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News

Discrimination Risks Harming Syrians, Lebanese Alike

(Beirut) – At least 21 Lebanese municipalities have introduced discriminatory restrictions on Syrian refugees that do not apply to Lebanese residents as part of their efforts to combat Covid-19, undermining the country’s public health response,…
Syrian refugees in a building under construction they have been using as a shelter in a city in southern Lebanon, on March 17, 2020, after Lebanon urged people to stay at home for two weeks to stem a novel coronavirus outbreak.
News

From bad to worse

    Hardly anyone in Lebanon has been left unscathed by the economic crisis, the worst since the end of the civil war in 1990. Its impact has been most devastating on communities already marginalized prior to the crisis. The…
Migrant workers protest in Beirut, Lebanon.
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Jana and her family were among the estimated 5,682 Syrian refugee households in Arsal who were forced to comply or risk having their shelter completely demolished by the Lebanese armed forces.
News

Dismantled Shelters is One of Many Push Factors Syrian Refugees Face

I met then-two-year-old Jana and her family this past June as I was passing by their shelter in the ibn Waleed camp in Arsal, Lebanon. Jana’s mom, Badoor, came up to me, holding Jana in her arms. “Please come inside, my daughter is sick…
A partially dismantled shelter in a Syrian refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon, June 20, 2019.
News

New Policy Forcibly Returns Thousands, No Due Process

(Beirut) – At least three Syrians deported by Lebanon’s General Security back to Syria have been detained by the authorities upon their return. General Security said it deported 2,731 Syrians between May 21 and August 28, 2019, following its May 13…
Members of the Lebanese General Security Directorate oversee Syrian refugees boarding a bus to take them home to Syria, in the northern Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Bilal Hussein