The Committee considered the initial report of Lebanon
on articles 1 to 15 of the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its 14th,
16th and 21st meetings on 25, 26 and 28 May 1993,
and adopted at its 21st meeting (eighth session),
held on 28 May 1993 the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the
Government of Lebanon for sending a delegation to
present its initial report and to engage in a dialogue
with members of the Committee. The Committee views
this as a demonstration of goodwill and of good faith
in response to the Government's obligations under
the Covenant and in light of the great difficulties
prevailing in Lebanon.
3. The Committee welcomes the statement of the Government
of Lebanon as presented by its representatives, expressing
its regrets for the delay in submitting its report
and for the brevity of the report submitted, owing
to the circumstances of conflict that have prevailed
in the country over the past 16 years. The Committee
looks forward therefore, to a more comprehensive report
on succeeding occasions, as pledged by the Government.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee welcomes the current initiatives
undertaken by the Government to review its existing
laws with the goal in mind of updating them to address
current situations and of putting together a national
agenda for development that would promote and protect
the economic, social and cultural rights of everyone
on equal terms.
5. The Committee commends the establishment of government
agencies directly responsible for the welfare of children,
disabled and displaced persons.
6. The Committee notes with satisfaction that primary
education is free and compulsory, and that education
is being made available to all.
7. The Committee is encouraged by ongoing government
efforts towards alleviating the predicament of Palestinian
refugees in Lebanon.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation
of the Covenant
8. The Committee recognizes the dilemma that the Government
of Lebanon faces in addressing the reconstruction
and rehabilitation of the country with only very limited
resources available. In turn, the process of reconstruction
itself has hampered the resettlement of displaced
9. The Committee observes that the lack of administrative
mechanisms to gather and monitor information, has
seriously impaired the Government's information concerning
the national situation as it relates to economic,
social and cultural rights.
10. The Committee notes that the absence of a framework
for civil law marriage requires many persons to leave
the country in order to marry. This in turn has a
negative effect on the Government's capacity to protect
D. Principal subjects of concern
11. The Committee expresses its concern over the large
number of persons displaced as a result of the armed
conflict, and the concomitant economic, social and
cultural problems. In particular, the Committee cites
the serious problems in housing where it concerns
displaced persons, especially farmers who have been
forced to abandon their lands.
12. The Committee is also concerned about the disruptions
in the Lebanese economy and the resulting high rate
E. Suggestions and recommendations
13. The Committee notes, that while the Government
of Lebanon continues to perform its functions under
very significant resource and other constraints, it
remains essential that the highest priority be accorded
to the realization of basic economic, social and cultural
rights by all members of the society.
14. The Committee recommends that the problem of unemployment
be addressed without delay and reminds the Government
of its obligations under articles 6, 7, 8 and 9 of
the Covenant. The Committee recommends that government
employees be accorded the right to form and join trade
unions in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant.
15. In view of the fact that the Government of Lebanon
is fully aware of the problems of displaced persons,
the Committee encourages the Government to further
its efforts to stabilize the situation.
16. The Committee recommends that the second periodic
report of Lebanon should be considerably more detailed
than the initial report and suggests that, if the
Government so wishes, the report might be prepared
with the assistance of an expert provided under the
Advisory Services Programme of the Centre for Human