Lebanon

Officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to the north and east and Occupied Palestine to the south, while Cyprus lies to its west across the Mediterranean Sea; its location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has contributed to its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious diversity. Lebanon is home to roughly six million people and covers an area of 10,452 square kilometres, making it one of the smallest countries in the world. The official language of the state is Arabic, while French is also formally recognized; the Lebanese dialect of Arabic is used alongside Modern Standard Arabic throughout the country.

Background

Legal Action is fully funded and supported by LAW; using creative legal strategies to increase access to justice for women and girls, and those who have been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence. These strategies are implemented through a combination of legal aid and empowerment, strategic litigation and targeted legal advocacy. In 2018 Legal Action opened an office in Beirut and is now providing legal assistance and representation from Beirut and one field office in Baouchriyeh. In addition to providing legal assistance and representations in Alay, Burj Hammoud, Tripoli and Akkar.

Legal Action’s legal aid lawyers work closely with international lawyers in LAW’s network to develop innovative legal strategies designed to increase access to justice for survivors of sexual violence, people who are stateless, and others who have suffered egregious human rights violations and abuses.

100%

Success rate in legal assistance for sexual offences cases

99%

Clients who are women

87.5%

Average satisfaction of clients

Promoting sustainable change towards gender equality

LAW provides legal skills and GBV capacity building trainings to lawyers, legal information officers and police officers, to increase their knowledge and understanding of gender issues in Lebanon.

LAW also provides policy expertise on gender equality and women’s empowerment to government officials. In 2020, we provided evidence and recommendations to the National Gender Observatory on the identification and revision of laws that discriminate against women and girls. We did so by leveraging our network of legal professionals.

Equality Through Legal Action

(2020-2022)

Equality Through Legal Action (ETLA), project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, aims to address serious discrimination and human rights abuse and violations based on immigration status, nationality, gender or sexuality in Lebanon and empower victims and survivors to meaningfully participate in effective access to justice and legal change.

This project addresses inequalities existing in Lebanon in discriminatory legislation or practices and traditions, against LGBTQI persons, women, and victims and survivors of gendered crime and sexual exploitation and abuse, particularly those from the migrant worker community.
It also addresses inequalities experienced by the large disadvantaged stateless population, which is excluded from most basic services including health care and education.

LAW leverages its high level of expertise and experience in legal responses to human rights violations and abuses, particularly in the use of strategic litigation challenging discriminatory laws and practices, to prompt long-lasting legal change.

Find Policy Brief here: MDW’s Policy Brief

LAW provides legal information, assistance and representation to the most marginalised and vulnerable through outreach and awareness activities. We support women and girls who are survivors of GBV or need assistance with late registration of birth or marriage.
We assist refugees, migrant domestic workers, and representatives of the Lebanese host communities. We also work to enhance equal access to justice for LGBTQI+ and stateless persons.

In 2020, LAW led a ground-breaking initiative to advance the cause of migrant domestic workers facing abuse and discrimination.

In October 2020, LAW filed the first criminal law suit on behalf of a migrant domestic worker, arguing that her treatment by her former employer and recruiter constituted crimes of slavery, slave trading, trafficking, forced labour, deprivation of liberty, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and torture.

 

 

Find Media Statements attached below :

Arabic – Media Statement – MH Case   /  English – Media Statement – MH Case (1)   /   Find case summary here: Case summary MH_

194

GBV survivors received legal representation

3,500

Dignity kits distributed as part of our COVID-19 response

2

Research reports investigating the Beirut Port Explosion

Legal Aid for Victims and Survivors of the Beirut Port Explosion

(2021-2022)

On 4 August 2020 a massive explosion ripped through Beirut, Lebanon. The root causes of the blast and who is ultimately responsible remain unclear, however the devastation speaks for itself. The blast killed over 200 people, left 300,000 homeless and 7,000 more injured . It destroyed thousands of buildings and incinerated the city’s grain store.

“Legal Aid for Victims and Survivors of the Beirut Port Explosion” is a project funded by Swiss Solidarity; the project focuses on providing legal aid to victims and survivors of the Beirut Port Explosion and addresses their needs for housing and shelter, civil documentation, protection, and accountability while enhancing civil society’s ability to respond to the needs of victims and survivors now and in the future.

 The group of  over 1000 victims and families of victims have called upon the international community to support their pursuit of justice, requesting an independent and impartial investigation and prosecution to hold accountable those responsible and order damages to the victims.

On 13 November 2020, LAW released the first comprehensive report gathering all available facts to the 4th of August Beirut explosion and the domestic investigation to date. The report highlights a request, by the “Victims of the Beirut Explosion” survivors’ group, for an impartial and independent fact finding mission to hold those in power responsible and accountable, and secure compensation for the survivors and victims families.

The report has been submitted to key individuals at the UN, and to representatives of key member states.

Read the full report in English here / Read the full report in Arabic here / Read the full updated report here

Read the Press Release in English here    / And in Arabic here

Dealing with the Past

 

 

(2020-2021)

The “Dealing with the Past” project, funded by UN Women, focuses on women victims and survivors of the Lebanese civil war to the present. The project provides legal aid, psychosocial support and avenues for storytelling to enable survivors and relatives of the disappeared to describe their experiences and address their legal and psychosocial needs. Within this project, legal information sessions were organized for women victims and survivors of the Lebanese civil war, legal assistance and counselling were provided, and some women were represented before the courts. In addition, the project focused on legal research; Legal Action issued a report on gendered crimes committed during the civil war and an assessment of the legal, psychological, and medical needs of women from the families of the disappeared. Several women were referred to receive psychosocial support. This project is in partnership with the Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon and Justice without Frontiers.

In addition, Legal Action encouraged women to share their stories through  the screening of ‘Mu’ ajjal’ – a new documentary that featured the moving stories of women whose family members disappeared and never returned during the Lebanese Civil War. This was also accompanied by a live photo exhibition.  The event was open to the public at Beit Beirut, Sodeco, on 12 and 13 of October 2021.

The documentary and photo exhibition’s aim was to raise public awareness of forced disappearances during the Civil War and to help encourage greater action to bring justice for those who disappeared and their families.

Click here to view the virtual photo exhibition and documentary.

 

 

326,540

People reached through social media during COVID-19 outbreak

12,370

People received legal information

3,220

People received legal assistance

Now and the Future Gender Equality, Peace and Security in a COVID-19 World

Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) and Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) have worked together to compile data on the impact of COVID-19 on gender equality, peace and security in Lebanon, as part of a global project generating 10 evidence-based country papers on the short- and long-term gendered impacts of COVID-19, as well as a multi-country evidence-based paper.

The research was aimed at enabling the international community to better understand the context-specific and global impact of COVID-19 and potential future pandemics on gender, peace and security and to develop policy and programming based on recommendations made for the national and international community.

 

Find English and Arabic Briefing attached here:

NatF_A4_Lebanon_Briefing

NatF_A4_Lebanon_Translated_Briefing

Also find report attached here in English and Arabic:

NatF_A4_Lebanon__Arabic_

Report NatF_A4_Lebanon_Report

Meet the Team:

Fatima Shehade
Lebanon’s Programme Manager

Fatima leads the Lebanon team and manages legal aid programme with a focus on providing marginalised groups with access to justice, with a focus on sexual and gender-based violence and the registration of refugee and stateless persons so that they are able to access their legal rights. Fatima is a registered lawyer in the Damascus Bar Association. She has a Bachelor of Law from Damascus University, and a total of 10 years of experience in the humanitarian aid field.

 

Dana Badran
HR and Logistics Officer

Dana is responsible for all matters related to the employees, from drafting contracts, to recruiting, and employee relations. She is also responsible for part of the logistics at LAW.  Dana graduated from AUST with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and has a certificate in Human Recourse Management from LAU. She came to LAW with 6 years of previous experience in HR,

 

Salynn Farran
Communication Officer

Saline is responsible for creating social media content. She designs posts and banners. She is also responsible for tracking social media interactions and reflecting these in LAW’s reports. She graduated from AUST with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising & Marketing and has certificates in Digital Marketing and Graphic design. Saline has 4 years of experience in the humanitarian field.

 

Lama Sakr
Legal Fellow

Lama works on in-depth legal research and analysis related to LAW’s projects along with the participation in preparing training materials with LAW’s lawyers, and project proposals with the Programme Manager. Lama holds an LLM in International and Transnational Criminal Law with a focus on Gender Based Violence from the University of Amsterdam. Lama has been part of multiple experiences related to human rights, criminal justice, and intercultural dialogue.

 

Samer Chleiwet
Legal Information Officer

Samer provides legal information and legal assistance to the survivors of the Beirut blast. Samer has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Lebanese University. He is currently enrolled in a masters related to international organizations.

 

Lara Abboud
Legal Information Officer

Lara provides legal information and legal assistance to migrant domestic workers, stateless people and LGBTQI+ community members. Lara has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Lebanese University, and has been a member of LAW’S team since 2020.

 

George Tahhan
Project Lawyer

In 2019, George joined Legal Action’s team where he provides legal counselling and representation especially for survivors of gender-based and domestic violence. George is currently working under “Equality Through Legal Action” project. He is providing legal counselling and representation especially to stateless and vulnerable people. He has a Law degree from the Lebanese University and is an attorney at law registered with the Beirut Bar Association.

 

Youssif Yammine
Project Lawyer

Youssif is specialized in the field of human rights defence and is a legal advisor to a number of international and local organizations. He is an attorney at law registered with the Tripoli  Bar Association in the North.

Elia Hakme
Finance and Administration Manager

Elia earned his bachelor’s degree in auditing in 2013 and his master’s degree in business administration in 2015 from Holy Spirit University. He continues to educate himself on emerging finance and audit practices. He has extensive experience in the audit field, having worked as a senior finance and audit officer since 2011. He was able to achieve a wide range of skills between the private and NGO sectors, offering various types of solutions and supporting the achievement of goals for various organizations. Elia has been working in the humanitarian sector since 2017.

 

Gabrielle Machaalany
Project Officer

Gabrielle is following on the daily implementation of the projects, in addition to coordinating with local partners, stakeholders and other entities. Gabrielle focuses on creating impactful activities within the legal context of the organization. She has a bachelor’s degree in Law from Sagesse University in Beirut, she’s also a trainee lawyer in the Beirut Bar Association.

 

Nour Aoude
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Officer

Nour’s job is to make sure donors are kept up to date on LAW’s projects and to communicate the impact that LAW’s interventions have had on beneficiaries. Nour also contributes to drafting, editing and translating different materials. His academic background is in religious studies, and he worked for various NGOs in Canada before moving to Lebanon in 2016.

 

Mohamad Jaber
Legal Information Officer

Mohammad has a Bachelor’s degree in law from the Lebanese University. His role is to provide legal support to the families of the missing and forcibly disappeared, organizing direct visits to the families of the missing and providing them with legal information. In addition, Mohammad works on documenting gender-based crimes committed during the civil war and interviewing survivors and witnesses, to organize a coherent legal research on civil war crimes.

 

Samara Sarkis
Legal Information Officer

Samara provides legal information and legal assistance to migrant domestic workers, stateless people and LGBTQI+ community members. Samara has many years of experience in the Humanitarian field, she has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Lebanese University, and have participated in several human rights and international law trainings.

 

Hadi Nakhoul
Project Lawyer

An attorney at law registered with the Beirut Bar Association and also a human rights expert. Hadi joined Legal Action’s team in 2018 where he provided legal counselling and representation for marginalized and vulnerable groups.

 

Ghada Nicholas
Project Lawyer

Ghada joined Legal Action’s team in 2019 where she provided legal counselling and representation for marginalized and vulnerable groups. She is an attorney at law registered with the Tripoli Bar Association and also a human rights expert.

 

Wajeeh Kousa
Driver and Purchaser

Wajeeh assists and supports the LAW team in all the logistics work in the field and in the office. Doing purchases is also a part of his job to keep the project flowing perfectly. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has several certificates in currencies and stock exchange. Wajeeh has 15 years of experience.

Donors:

Outreach Photos

 

  

Legal Information Sessions Photos

 

 

     

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