On June 2022, Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) published a report entitled “Ba’adon – The Legal, Medical, & Psychological Needs of the Families of the Disappeared.” The report sets out the gendered impact and needs of women and girls resulting from the disappearance of their family members. The report considers the legal, medical, and psychological impact of enforced disappearances on surviving family members, and examines the barriers to accessing justice in Lebanon. The report includes a series of recommendations for the Lebanese government and civil society organisations, to address the issue of enforced disappearance and the needs of survivors.
The main findings are as follows:
- Legal needs: LAW found that families of disappeared persons, particularly women and girls, face multiple hurdles to obtaining civil documentation and in matters related to custody, guardianship and inheritance due to the patriarchal personal status laws in Lebanon. The lack of a unique legal status for disappeared persons represents a significant challenge for families of the disappeared. Families are forced to declare the missing or disappeared persons dead, in order to overcome legal hurdles. Generally, families felt that there are no laws in Lebanon to address their legal needs, or that the laws are not implemented
- Medical needs: LAW found that family members have varied, and often multiple, medical needs. Some family members reported suffering permanent disabilities from injuries due to the conflict. Some families reported suffering from lack of medication due to the ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon. Some survivors stated that they continue to take medication to recover from the Lebanese Civil Wars. The current health crisis in Lebanon has exacerbated existing medical needs, as many survivors can no longer afford to access medical services.
- Psychological needs: LAW found that survivors and victims continue to suffer from fear and insecurity, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, phobias, and aggression. Interviewees expressed feeling survivors’ guilt, hyper maturity, anger and insecurity.