Lebanon has for the first time passed a law criminalizing sexual harassment and rehabilitating its victims

After years of public and private parties’ joint struggle to criminalize sexual harassment acts in all their forms, and locations, the Lebanese Parliament has passed yesterday a law that aims at criminalizing sexual harassment, and rehabilitating its victims. This step has furnished Lebanon for the first time with a law that punishes the perpetrators of sexual harassment and ensures protection and support for its victims.

Last March, the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) had presented to the head of the Parliamentary Committee of Administration and Justice, MP George EDWANE, a text combining proposed draft laws, that criminalize sexual harassment. The said draft laws had been presented to the relevant parliamentary committees, in collaboration with KIP project at the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women (CIBL) , affiliated to the Suleiman Olayan School of Business ( AUB), and  the Mashrek Gender Facility- a program  supported by the World Bank, and financed by the Canadian and Norwegian governments. The President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, and some NCLW members have also participated in the various meetings of the two parliamentary committees, the Sub-Committee and the Committee for Administration and Justice, appointed to discuss the draft law that aims to criminalize sexual harassment and rehabilitate its victims. Recently, a consensus was reached over the final version of the said draft law  which combines and includes legislative texts already prepared by MP Dr Inaya Ez El Dine, NCLW, and the Ministry of Justice. 

NCLW seizes this opportunity to extend its thanks to all those who have contributed to or advocated for the adoption of this law, i.e. MP Dr. Inaya Ezz El Dine, the Ministry of Justice, the State Ministry for the Economic Empowerment of Women,  former MP Lawyer Ghassan Mokheyber, as well as representatives of Mashrek Gender Facility, CSOs, and representatives of AUB KIP program.

NCLW will continue to advocate adding articles to the Labour Law in order to ensure a sound working environment, and provide effective mechanisms for the application of the Sexual Harassment and Victim Rehabilitation Law. 

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