Lebanon - OPCAT Situation

Opcat status

OPCAT Ratification December 22, 2008
UNCAT Ratification October 5, 2000
NPM Designated

National Commission for Human Rights

NPM Type

National Human Rights Commission

NPM Legal Framework

NHRI-NPM Law No.62 of 27 October 2016, published in the Official Journal No.52 on 3 November 2016

Lebanon was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to ratify the OPCAT, on 22 December 2008.

Since 2009, soon after Lebanon ratified the OPCAT, several consultations took place in the country to look at the best NPM option. The NGO Working Group on Torture, together with the APT, hosted several events, gathering authorities and other stakeholders. A follow-up committee was created in June 2009 by decree N° 2036, presided by the Ministry of Justice and including representatives from the Ministry of Interior, the Parliament, the Lebanese Bar Association, national NGOs, the OHCHR, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the ICRC.

Two NPM options initially emerged from the discussions: establishing a new specialised institution or designating the future national human rights institution as NPM. Finally, it was decided to seize the opportunity of the establishment of a new national human rights institution in Lebanon to widen its mandate so that the institution could also perform the NPM mandate.

A draft legislation on the national human rights institution was introduced to Parliament in January 2012, but a long political and legislative stalemate blocked the adoption. The Lebanese Parliament finally convened in October 2016. On 19 October 2016, it adopted the law establishing the National Commission for Human Rights which includes a permanent committee for the prevention of torture. In May 2018, the Cabinet designated the first 10 members of the Commission.

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture visited Lebanon from 24 May to 2 June 2010. The SPT member Marija Definis-Gojanović is the SPT Focal Point for Lebanon.