Concluding observations of the
Committee on the Rights of the Child : Lebanon. 07/06/96.
CRC/C/15/Add.54. (Concluding Observations/Comments)CRC
UNITED NATIONS Convention on the Rights of the Child
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COMMITTEE ON THE
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Rights of the Child: Lebanon
Committee considered the initial report of Lebanon
(CRC/C/8/Add.23) at its 289th, 290th and 291st meetings
(CRC/C/SR.289-291) held on 20 and 21 May 1996 and adopted* the
following concluding observations:
Committee notes with appreciation the submission of the initial
report of Lebanon and the dialogue held with the State party.
While the Committee expresses its appreciation for the
supplemental written information provided by the delegation, it
regrets that the State party did not submit written replies to the
list of issues previously submitted by the Committee to the
and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
Committee notes the severe difficulties facing Lebanon as a result
of almost 20 years of war and foreign intervention which has
resulted in widespread destruction of its physical infrastructure
and public works. The Committee also takes note of the
difficulties caused by the fact that Lebanon has hosted a great
number of refugees for several decades. The Committee also notes
the insufficient international support for coping with the
above-mentioned problems and facilitating an effective
reconstruction of infrastructure and social services.
At the 314th meeting, held on 7 June 1996.
Committee welcomes the establishment of a Higher Council for
Childhood, administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs, which
serves as an independent intermediary body between relevant
government ministries and with non-governmental organizations to
initiate and coordinate programmes and policies. The Committee
also welcomes the decision of the Higher Council to undertake a
study on the legal situation in Lebanon with respect to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it regards as a
potentially important step in the development of a more
comprehensive approach to the implementation of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child.
5. The Committee also
welcomes the establishment of the Parliamentary Committee for the
Protection of Childhood as well as the National Committee for the
Disabled, both of which could be important in the endeavours to
implement the principles and provisions in the Convention on the
Rights of the Child.
6. The Committee notes with
satisfaction the decision to establish a system for health
inspections in schools and preschool institutions.
The Committee welcomes the adoption in September 1995 of a
National Plan of Action for Child Survival, Protection and
Development in Lebanon which focuses on programmes related to
health and education.
8. The Committee welcomes
the report from the delegation that the stigmatizing label of "illegitimate"
will be abolished not only from identity cards but also from the
birth registry and all other official documents.
The Committee welcomes the round-tables and training courses, some
of them in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund, to
educate and train teachers, as well as plans to train police,
social workers and other professionals about the rights of the
child. The Committee notes with satisfaction the agreement entered
into by the State party with the United Nations Development
Programme to undertake a statistical overview of 7,000 families
representing the different regions of Lebanon on relevant social
matters such as education, illiteracy, unemployment and child
labour. It further welcomes the planned study on the health of
mothers and children, and looks forward to receiving a copy of the
results from the two studies once they are completed.
subjects of concern
Committee is concerned at the insufficient measures adopted to
ensure a permanent and effective coordinating and monitoring
mechanism to ensure implementation of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child. The Committee also notes the insufficient measures
to systematically gather reliable quantitative and qualitative
data on all areas covered by the Convention and in relation to all
groups of children, and to evaluate progress achieved and to
assess the impact of policies adopted on children, in particular
in relation to education, health, juvenile justice and children
11. The Committee is concerned
about the insufficient measures taken to ensure that the
principles and the provisions of the Convention are made widely
known to children and adults.
12. As regards the
implementation of article 4 of the Convention, the Committee notes
with concern the inadequacy of measures taken to ensure the
implementation of children's economic, social and cultural rights
to the maximum extent of available resources. The Committee is
also concerned that insufficient resources are allocated to human
development projects and by the emerging gaps developing between
those who can afford private education and medical care, and those
13. The Committee notes that despite
the fact that the provisions of international treaties to which
Lebanon is a party supersede domestic legislation, laws continue
to exist which are inconsistent with the provisions of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child and of other international
14. The Committee is also concerned
that the basic principles of the Convention, in particular the
provisions of its articles 2, 3 and 12, have not been adequately
reflected in legislation, policies and programmes.
The Committee is concerned with the apparent discrimination in the
granting of nationality to a child of parents of mixed
nationality; nationality may only be obtained by a child from
her/his Lebanese father but not from the mother and, in the case
of unmarried parents, only if the Lebanese father acknowledges the
16. The Committee is worried by the
widespread practice of early marriage and the related consequence
of high child mortality rates and the negative impact on the
health of girls bearing children at an early age. It is also
concerned with consanguineous marriage.
Committee expresses its concern that the provision of social
services appears to be concentrated in Beirut, to the disadvantage
of the population living outside the capital. The Committee also
notes the apparent shortage in the number of social workers.
The Committee notes the need for further reform in the school
sector to improve the quality of education and prevent drop-outs.
Specific needs appear to exist in the fields of health education
and, as recognized by the delegation, teaching about values and
about the environment.
19. The Committee notes
the need for further reforms in the field of juvenile justice and
treatment of young offenders to ensure full implementation of
Convention articles 37, 39 and 40. Problems appear to exist in
relation to the low age of criminal responsibility, non-separation
of children from adult detainees, the lack of available health and
educational facilities for young detainees, the existence and
length of pre-trial custody and the non-availability of legal
20. The Committee is concerned by
reports about children working in the streets or in domestic
service, including children from other countries.
The Committee notes the need for special efforts to protect the
rights of children in especially difficult circumstances,
including abandoned and stateless children.
welcoming the establishment of the Higher Council for Childhood,
the Committee recommends a review of the various central and local
administrative structures in order to ensure an effective
coordination of policies and programmes on matters of child rights
and child welfare.
23. The Committee welcomes
the initiative for a comprehensive review of legislation in light
of the principles and standards of the Convention on the Rights of
the Child. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the
minimum age of criminal responsibility, for marriage and for child
labour be reviewed.
24. The Committee recommends
that a permanent and multidisciplinary mechanism be developed for
coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the
Convention, both at national and local levels, in urban and rural
areas. The Committee encourages the State party to give further
consideration to the establishment of an Ombudsperson for Children
or any equivalent independent complaint and monitoring mechanism.
The Committee further encourages the promotion of closer
cooperation for this purpose with Lebanese non-governmental
organizations, to which it expresses its appreciation for the
valuable work they perform in the field of the rights of the
25. The Committee recommends that further
steps be taken by the State party to define child-related social
indicators and to develop systematic means of gathering data on an
ongoing basis to facilitate a comparison of progress with regard
to child-related initiatives over a period of time.
The Committee recommends that the Government strengthen its
efforts aimed at promoting advocacy and creating awareness and
understanding of the principles and provisions of the Convention
in light of its article 42. In the spirit of the United Nations
Decade for Human Rights Education, the Committee further
encourages the Government to give consideration to the
incorporation of the rights of the child in school curricula. The
Committee also suggests that the Government develop public
campaigns with a view to addressing effectively the problem of
persistent discriminatory attitudes, in particular towards girls.
27. The Committee recommends that further programmes be
aimed at training personnel working with children, such as social
workers, police, public health workers, and legal and judicial
28. The Committee encourages the Government to
pursue its efforts to ensure full compliance of its national
legislation with the principles and provisions of the Convention,
including non-discrimination (art. 2), the best interests of the
child (art. 3) and respect for the views of the child (art. 12).
In light of articles 2 and 3, the Committee strongly recommends
that legislative measures be adopted with a view to ensuring
respect for the rights of girls, especially in relation to
preventing early marriage.
29. The Committee
recommends that the State party strengthen the existing overall
priority which is given in the national budget to child-related
programmes in accordance with article 4 of the Convention.
In relation with the growing role of private educational and
health institutions, the Committee recommends that a stronger
emphasis be placed on public education and the social welfare
system by the Government with a view to ensuring that all children
subject to the jurisdiction of the State party enjoy these
fundamental rights, as well as to prevent any risk of
31. The Committee recommends the
development of a more comprehensive social policy which would
include the implementation of the National Plan of Action for
Child Survival, Protection and Development. Such a policy would
emphasize the importance of human development. The Committee
recommends that further steps be taken towards decentralization of
social services so as to afford children outside the capital open
and easy access to basic social services and education.
The Committee welcomes the steps taken to reform the school system
and to improve the quality of education, including a thorough
review of the curricula. It recommends measures to fully realize
the provisions of the Convention relating to free and compulsory
primary education for all children.
33. In view
of the principles contained in article 29 (1) (d) of the
Convention, which stipulates that the education of the child shall
be directed to "the preparation of the child for responsible
life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace,
tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples,
ethnic, national, religious groups and persons of indigenous
origin", the teaching of values is an important dimension
that should be incorporated in the curricula at all levels of
schooling. School curricula materials should be revised
34. The Committee recommends that
the ban of the commercial marketing of infant formula be
implemented and that breast-feeding be promoted among mothers in
health facilities. It further suggests that a health insurance
card be issued for children whose parents are not entitled to
social security benefits.
35. The Committee
suggests that the State party undertake a comprehensive study to
examine the implications of the principle of the "best
interests of the child" in relation to laws and their
implementation as well as to administrative practice in all
36. The Committee believes that
opportunities for the cultural development of children are
critical and recommends that measures be taken to give children
access to child literature and media. The need for playgrounds and
child-friendly parks should be considered in city planning.
The Committee welcomes the policy of not allowing corporal
punishment in schools or other official institutions and
recommends a thorough review of the problem of domestic violence,
including the possibility of stricter legislation against all
forms of abuse against children in the spirit of article 19 of the
Convention, as well as supportive social measures to assist
families in crisis.
38. The Committee suggests
that further efforts should be undertaken to disseminate
information about the risks of consanguineous marriages, including
through the media and health education programmes.
The Committee suggests that special programmes be developed for
children with disabilities in order to define social,
psychological, physical and other needs as well as to educate
parents about ways of dealing with them. Further efforts are
recommended to encourage schools to ensure the participation of
these children in all activities.
Committee suggests that the State party, in cooperation with
United Nations Relief and Works Agency, seek ways of addressing
the socio-economic problems among Palestinian refugees that affect
41. The Committee recommends
that the State party consider ratifying the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
The Committee recommends that the State party give careful
consideration to placing greater emphasis on psycho-social
recovery and reintegration of "passive victims" of
violence and the armed conflict in Lebanon.
The Committee recommends that in the light of article 32 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, further steps be taken to
protect children from hazardous work, including through the
adoption of stricter legislation, ratification of all relevant
International Labour Organization Conventions and the appointment
of a sufficient number of child labour inspectors.
The Committee recommends that the State party envisage undertaking
a comprehensive reform of the juvenile justice system in the
spirit of the Convention, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40,
and relevant United Nations standards in this field such as the "Beijing
Rules", the "Riyadh Guidelines" and the United
Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their
Liberty. Particular attention should be given to the consideration
of deprivation of liberty only as a measure of last resort and for
the shortest period of time, to the protection of the rights of
children deprived of liberty, to due process of law, and to the
full independence and impartiality of the judiciary. Training
programmes on the relevant international standards should be
organized for all those professionals involved with the system of
juvenile justice. The Committee would like to suggest that the
Government of Lebanon consider seeking international assistance in
the area of the administration of juvenile justice from the Centre
for Human Rights and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Division of the United Nations (Vienna).
Committee recommends that relevant international agencies and
institutions, as well as other Governments, develop cooperation
with Lebanese authorities and voluntary organizations, in the
reconstruction effort after the many years of war devastation.
Displaced persons and refugees should be given priority in such
46. The Committee
recommends that the report submitted by the State party, the
summary records of its consideration and the concluding
observations of the Committee be disseminated as widely as
possible within the country.