HUMAN DIGNITY REPORT LEBANON 2019: AN ASSESSMENT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS

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Issued by the Amel House of Human Rights, the Human Rights department within Amel Association International, this report was initiated in January 2019 with a clear objective of documenting the crumbling of human dignity in Lebanon and serving as a yearly compass for the situation of socio-economic rights in the country for all residents. The dire context of sharp inequality and growing extreme poverty was no secret and the report intended to offer a consistent overview of the worsening hardship the failed policies have led the country to.

On October 17th, the Lebanese population patience worn out and massive protests emerged all over the Lebanese territory and obtained 12 days later the overthrow of the government. No report nor index nor study can show the entire truth of the real hardening of the life of the population whose uprise is calling for the respect of their basic dignity as human beings. In a sense, one of the main goals of the report was already achieved before it was published as the Lebanese people has shaped a powerful public opinion aware of the levels of corruption, the decrepitude of their rightful services and the incompetence of their governing bodies and representatives. Or, in another word: a true revolution against the sectarian and corrupt system that has taken so much and given back so little.

Nevertheless, this work ambitions to offer a modest insight of the factors that led to these massive protests threatening of the Lebanese families, livelihoods and an insult to their dignity. The alarming wave of suicides that have already taken the lives of Naji El Flitti (Ersal), Dany Abi Haidar (Naabaa), Antonios Tanous (Akkar) is directly connected to the grave deterioration of the socio-economic conditions based on the acute financial and economic crisis, which swept into Lebanon in the past couple of years. It is also worth mentioning that 2018 had already reached the highest record in the number of suicides in Lebanon (The Monthly: June 2018).

Such urgency calls for additional national efforts in measuring the inhuman impact of current policies on the population, namely in self-funded studies away from any potentially conflicting agendas. As such, reports issued by international organizations, whether from the UN agencies or independent organizations, regularly measure economic development, human development, good governance, transparency levels, freedom of the press etc. While this offers valuable insight in the world and individual countries situations and contexts, there is little work to produce nationally driven indicators based on the priorities of the local population.

The Lebanon Human Dignity Report established by AMEL Association aims at filling the national gap on this level, while providing a preliminary measurement document based on the immediate needs, aspirations and issues of the local population, both Lebanese and non-Lebanese nationals.