I just read this text from zoya explaining the pro and cons of the new anti-trafficking law passed by the Lebanese Parliament in August 2011.
I re-posting it… While hoping for a more comprehensive law to be passed , helping the victims, while Punishing IN Time the perpetrators!
For you to understand what I’m “lattiching” at please feel free to read the post of zoya:
Approval of Anti-Trafficking Legislation by the Lebanese Parliament
On Thursday, August 4, 2011, the Lebanese Parliament passed an anti-trafficking law that would amend the Lebanese penal code and criminal procedures to specifically address the crime of trafficking in persons. The new law provides a clear definition of trafficking, defines victims of trafficking, and sets penalties for traffickers.
Several local and international NGOs – KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, ALEF- Act for Human Rights, Caritas Migrant Center, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, World Vision- submitted a series of recommendations on the draft law to decision-makers and lobbied Parliamentarians to make the law more comprehensive and in-line with international standards. Many of these recommendations were accepted and subsequently incorporated into the final approved law.
However, this group of NGOs points to several weaknesses of the new legislation that the group tried to convey during its advocacy efforts; in particular, the law focuses solely on punishment rather than legislation that comprehensively tackles the problem of trafficking through prevention, prosecution and protection. In addition, the victim can be arrested till the penalties occur, and this procedure can take months and years some time. Migrant workers and refugees are the most vulnerable to such risk. Moreover the burden of proof is on the victim to demonstrate he/she is a victim, which is difficult to do for individuals in trafficking situations and leaves the possibility of detention and prosecution of the victim under Lebanese law for crimes committed during the trafficking situation (such as his/her illegal entry or residence in Lebanon or involvement in unlawful acts as a direct consequence of his/her situation as trafficked persons). Thus, the law fails to uphold international standards in terms of non-liability and punishment of the victims. Further, there are no specific provisions in the law addressing the special protection needs of child victims.
The group of NGOs recognizes that this is a first step forward but also expresses the need for a clear process around the implementation of this new law, including the development of protocols and guidelines. It also urges for the establishment of a national coordinating body and action plan to develop mechanisms among the different Ministries and with civil society to be able to prevent and address human trafficking in Lebanon.
In the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the U.S. Department of State, Lebanon was downgraded to Tier 3, its lowest ranking since the report began ten years ago. The report identified Lebanon as a source and destination country for trafficking of persons for forced labor and sexual exploitation. It particularly pointed to trafficking of foreign domestic workers and women entering Lebanon under the artiste visa for employment in entertainment agencies. The report also highlighted the Government’s lack of initiative on combating trafficking in persons and protecting victims.
Zoya J. Rouhana, Director
KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation