Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
The rights of non-citizens
Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt,
submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103,
Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council
Summary of Comments Received from U.N. Member States to
Special Rapporteur’s Questionnaire*
* This document is circulated as received in the language of submission only.
II. SUMMARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OF NON-CITIZENS
29. The Government of Lebanon stated that its law draws distinction between non-citizens, who are legally resident in Lebanon, and those living there illegally. The former benefit from all the rights and freedoms recognized in the Constitution, subject to certain conditions, and from all the rights established by various laws. Lebanon granted Palestinian refugees present in its territory certain legal guarantees and privileges, specified in series of laws enacted since 1960, aimed at facilitating their freedom of movement. Lebanon acceded, without making any exception, to the Civil and Political Covenant and Economic Covenant under the implementing Act to Decree No. 3855 of 1 September 1972. The rights accorded to non-citizens are not absolute, however, but are subject to certain restrictions aimed at protecting the Lebanese society. Accordingly, non-citizens do not have the right to vote in parliamentary or municipal elections; are not allowed to occupy certain public positions unless they acquired Lebanese nationality more than 10 years prior to their appointment; and are not allowed to pursue political activities that contravene the dictates of public order and the fundamental rules laid down in the Constitution. Conditions for the employment of non-citizens are governed by special decrees that are issued in response to changing circumstances.
30. Lebanon did not accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Convention on Statelessness and does not recognize the rights and duties set forth therein. It does not accord asylum-seekers whose applications are pending, the same rights as those accorded to non-citizens residing legally in its territory. The most significant problems faced by refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented non-citizens are economic difficulties and, in some cases, problems of morale, as non-citizens are not acclimatized to Lebanese society. Lebanon acceded to numerous multilateral conventions and bilateral agreements concerning the extradition of criminals and persons wanted by law. Accordingly, the authorities concerned are not prevented from handing over documents pertaining to refugees, undocumented non-citizens and criminals, consistent with the higher interest of the nation and the dictates of national security.
2The Special Rapporteur in preparing the final report further took into account additional replies, information, and publications provided by: CERD, Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants, United Nations Population Fund, UNHCR, UNAIDS, UN DESA/Population Division, ILO, IOM, OSCE ODIHR, Anti-Slavery International, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Save the Children. The full text of the replies is available for consultation in the Secretariat files.