9th Session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group
UPR Session for Lebanon
Statement by the Delegation of the United States
UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland
November 10, 2010
“as prepared for delivery”
Thank you Mr. President:
The United States welcomes the Lebanese delegation and thanks Lebanon for its national report and presentation today.
The United States recognizes the measures taken by Lebanon to improve its human rights situation. The creation of a draft law to protect women from domestic violence, efforts to amend the criminal code to conform with the Convention Against Torture, and the intended establishment of an independent National Human Rights Institute in accordance with the Paris Principles, are welcome developments awaiting fruition. We note, however, that these nascent efforts fall short of upholding the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all of Lebanon’s residents.
The United States remains concerned that Lebanese women are inequitably represented in their government. Consequently, the women of Lebanon are unable to advocate for concerns such as property and nationality rights.
We note that some forms of torture, such as mental torture, are not criminalized in Lebanon.
We further note with concern that thousands of refugees living in Lebanon lack the basic rights to move freely within the country and to be fully contributing members of society.
Mr. President, we are gravely disappointed that the report unfairly criticizes another member of the UN, Israel, in what should be a reflection on Lebanon’s own record. The UPR process is not the place for such criticism. We reject entirely Lebanon’s use of inappropriate and misleading language when describing Israel in the report.
Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:
First, the United States recommends that Lebanon issue permits to refugees in Lebanon to allow them freedom of movement and employment, including the right to work in professions that require syndicate membership, and without onerous renewal or fee restrictions.
Second, we recommend that Lebanon criminalize all acts of torture as set forth in the Convention Against Torture and adopt punishments in line with the gravity of the crime.
Third, we recommend that Lebanon establish laws and cultivate processes and institutions to protect women’s rights, foster women’s political participation, and ensure equitable representation of their interests and concerns.
Thank you, Mr. President.