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*This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).
Conditions of economic and social rights in Lebanon within the context of the related Universal Periodic Review session
The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) welcomes the results of the examination of the human rights situation in Lebanon, which took place in the context of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 10 November 2010 (referred to as review session hereafter).
Concerning the right to work, Lebanon received several recommendations highlighting the problematic of enjoyment of right to work by Palestinians and migrant domestic workers. ANND supports all the recommendations raised during the review session; but would like to further stress that labor markets in Lebanon are as well characterized by several barriers to equality in relation to the right to work for national workers, including occupational segregation, gender gaps, and consistent unequal opportunities for women and men. The government’s employment and labor policies still fail to tackle unemployment and obstacles to full enjoyment of the right to work. Total unemployment rose to 9.0% in 2007, reaching 83% among people with disabilities. Moreover although women represent around 50% of Lebanon’s total population, their representation in the total labor force does not exceed 21.5%, with high regional disparities. The highest unemployment is recorded among the 20-24 years age groups (17.3%). Moreover, the Lebanese labor law (especially Article 7, Articles 86/87, and Article 105 of the Lebanese Labor Law as well as Article 15 of decree 112/1959) stands in stark violation of International Labor Conventions, such as Labor Convention number 87 of 1948, which Lebanon have not ratified till date.
With regards to the Palestinians’ right to work, the Delegation stated that the right to work was granted to Palestinians residing in Lebanon. Nevertheless, the 1964 law that imposes a reciprocity condition on the membership in professional syndicates has not been amended and thus the principle of reciprocity continues to present a major obstacle to the ability of Palestinian refugees to work in Lebanon.
Furthermore, ANND regrets that much of the regress and persistent violations in ESR in Lebanon have not been addressed during the session. In light of this context, we urge the Council to reiterate that the Lebanese government:
• Tackle the de jure and de facto discrimination against Palestinians in Lebanon, ameliorating the conditions of the refugee camps, ending all practices that prohibit or hinder the reconstruction, development of, and free access to Palestinian refugee camps, and take responsibility for accelerating the process of rebuilding Nahr El Bared.