Lebanon: Joint follow-up report to the UN Human Rights Committee

The MENA Rights Group and the Global Detention Project jointly issued a report to the Human Rights Committee as part of the committee’s follow up procedure to its third periodic report on Lebanon’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Recommendations provided in the joint report include:

  1. Implement recommendation 38(a) from the Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations of 2018, which provides that the State Party should “[e]nsure that the non-refoulement principle is strictly adhered to in practice, that all asylum seekers are protected against pushbacks at the border and that they have access to refugee status determination procedures”;
  2. Include explicit non-refoulement provisions in Law No. 65 on the Punishment of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and in the Code of Criminal Procedure;
  3. Ratify the UN 1951 Refugee Convention; 
  4. Until a national asylum procedure is in place, allow the UNHCR to resume the registration and asylum determinations of Syrian nationals in need of protection; 
  5. Provide procedures that enable asylum seekers to appeal decisions regarding their deportation; 
  6. Take steps to bring migration-related law and policy into conformity with the recommendations provided in the Committee’s General Comment No. 35 concerning “Liberty and security of person”;
  7. Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;
  8. Ensure that children must never be detained for reasons related to their immigration status in light of Joint General Comments No. 4 and No. 23 regarding the human rights of children in the context of international migration in countries of origin, transit, destination and return;
  9. Investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment committed in detention in compliance with Law No. 65/2017 on Punishment of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment regardless of the legal status of the complainant;
  10. Ensure unrestricted access to immigration detention centres to the newly established National Preventative Mechanism against Torture (NPM); 
  11. Refrain from detaining non-nationals in breach of the 1962 Law of Entry and Exit;
  12. Allow refugees to maintain legal status by expanding the residency fee waiver to all Syrians in Lebanon;
  13. Lift restrictive visa regulations leaving most refugees from neighbouring countries unable to enter Lebanon regularly;
  14. Adopt and implement maximum time limits on immigration detention to avoid arbitrary, prolonged, and/ or indefinite detention of non-citizens;
  15. Ensuring the right of each person concerned to have his/her case examined individually and not collectively, to be fully informed of the reasons why he/she is the subject of a procedure which may lead to a decision of deportation, and of the rights legally available to appeal such decision; 
  16. Providing access of the person concerned to a lawyer, to free legal aid when necessary, and access to representatives of relevant international organizations of protection;
  17. The right of appeal by the person concerned against a deportation order to an independent administrative and/or judicial body within a reasonable period of time from the notification of that order and with the suspensive effect of its enforcement.