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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee is seriously concerned about the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the State party, in particular refugee children. It is also concerned about the lack of shelters and assistance for child victims and the lack of data on the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the State party.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care and schools; prohibition in penal institutions requires confirmation.
Overview of the child rights situation

The Committee recognizes the impact of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic on the State party’s socio-political and economic situation, the internal tensions within the State party’s political system that have negatively affected its ability to provide the public services necessary to all children in the State party, and the decreasing funds being made available by the international community for Syrian refugees.

Lebanon has taken in many refugees and thus protected children, however, after the explosion in the port of Beirut 2020, the situation is worsening and there is much more poverty than before. The health and education systems are weak and there is not enough food for everyone.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee urges the State party to help end the revictimization of girl victims of rape who may be pressured into marrying the perpetrator.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about children with disabilities continuing to face discrimination and not being integrated effectively into all areas of social life, including the education system, in particular Palestinian and Syrian refugee children, as well as inadequate health-care services, in particular in public hospitals, and inadequate and insufficient rehabilitation services, in particular for Syrian refugee children. Lebanon also needs to work on the lack of financial assistance and other support services to families of children with disabilities and the high rate of institutionalization of children with disabilities, inadequate care in residential care institutions and abuse and violence by service providers, including sexual abuse.
To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and inter alia recommends that it strengthen efforts to take all the necessary measures to ensure that children with disabilities are integrated fully into all areas of social life.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee appreciates the efforts of the State party in hosting and supporting the high number of Syrian refugees, including children.Nonetheless, the Committee recommends that the State party further improve security, housing, access to clean water and sanitation facilities and access to education and health care as well as to ensure that border governance measures address and combat all forms of ill-treatment by State actors and are in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of arbitrary and collective expulsions.Noting with deep concern the reports of mass expulsion of children of migrant workers and their parents, delays in issuing residency permits and reports that those children have difficulty in gaining access to services, such as education and health care, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that migrant workers and members of their families, particularly those in an irregular situation, are guaranteed due process before all courts and tribunals in administrative and judicial proceedings. The Committee further recommends to ensure that they are provided with the necessary guarantees, including individualized protection assessments, access to legal representation, interpretation services and the right to appeal the decisions of the General Security.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen efforts to ensure access to quality health care, by expanding the national network of primary health centres to cover all primary health centres in the State party and ensure adequate provision of prenatal and postnatal care in all governorates of Lebanon, and address the high rate of mortality of infants born to Syrian refugees.
The State party should also strengthen the national immunization programme in order to address emerging needs stemming from the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, and continue to improve access to clean water and sanitation for disadvantaged communities, in particular refugees, and address risks of communicable diseases and other health concerns. The Committee further recommends to increase access to affordable health care for all families in situations of poverty, address discrepancies in quality of care and coverage in areas outside of Beirut and Mount Lebanon and strengthen the regulation of the pharmaceutical sector and all health-care service providers in terms of quality and pricing.

Relation to other countries
mental health

Noting the limited availability of mental health services outside Beirut and Mount Lebanon, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the quality and availability of mental health services and programmes, increase the number of specialists in children’s mental health, ensure adequate facilities and strengthen outpatient services for psychosocial care and rehabilitation in all governorates.

Business sector

The Committee is seriously concerned about the persistence of child labour in the State party, in particular in the North and in the Beqaa Valley, and among Palestinian and Syrian refugee children. The Committee urges the State party to take measures to prevent children from being economically exploited, in particular with respect to the minimum age for hazardous work, and harmonize the minimum age of 14 for work with the age of 15 for compulsory education. Also, Lebanon should strengthen labour inspectorates and monitoring mechanisms in the formal and informal sectors and make available data on the number of inspections and violations publicly.

Situation of juvenile justice

While welcoming various legislative and policy initiatives to assist children in conflict with the law, the introduction of alternative measures to detention by the Ministry of Justice, and rehabilitation and vocational programmes launched by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Committee is still concerned about the lack of due process, including access to legal aid, conditions of detention facilities and reports of torture and ill-treatment of children in detention, in particular at the Roumieh and Moubadara prisons.
The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system into line with the Convention and, in particular, recommends that the State party ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings and promote alternative measures to detention, taking into consideration gender differentiated programmes for boys and girls, with a view to progressively ceasing all detention of children.
In cases where detention is unavoidable, Lebanon needs to ensure that children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services, with a particular focus on the Roumieh and Moubadara prisons.

Specific observations

The Committee commends the State party for its overall high net enrolment rates, for raising the age of compulsory education to 15 years, for expanding early childhood education and for adopting numerous initiatives to ensure Syrian refugee children have access to education, including through the implementation of the “Reaching All Children Through Education” initiative. However, it is seriously concerned about inadequate funding for public schools, relatively low educational achievements of children from economically disadvantaged communities, low retention and high dropout rates, in particular among Palestinian and Syrian refugee children.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the fourth and fifth periodic reports released on 22 June 2017. More information about education in Lebanon: https://www.unicef.org

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022