Enhancing Community Security and Access to Justice in Lebanon Host Communities

Overview

Status: Active

Project duration: 11 September 2017-10 September 2020

Background

 

Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities have limited access to basic security and justice services that respond to their concrete and perceived needs, in a context of growing tensions and increased human rights violations, putting the very social fabric of communities at risk.
Lebanon is hosting a large number of Syrian refugees (about 1.5 million individuals) within “host communities” that are among the poorest municipalities of Lebanon. Host communities and Syrian refugees are often unable to access basic justice and security services. The reason is that security institutions tend to focus on law enforcement rather than violence prevention activities in communities; and access to justice institutions is unaffordable to the poor. As a result, host communities and Syrian refugees often resort to informal justice and security institutions. The lack of justice and security services impacts severely the already most disadvantaged, namely the poor, women and girls, as well as the youth; and Syrian refugees. Those are not claiming their rights and choose to avoid any security/justice mechanism, formal or informal, when they have grievances. As a result, many grievances and conflicts remain unaddressed in communities.
Recent surveys indicate increased tensions between host communities and Syrian Refugees. Those tensions are the result of the lack of security and justice services, and are aggravated by human rights violations committed by law enforcement institutions. Syrian refugees are particularly affected by security measures targeting their settlements in host communities,
such as curfews and raids. On the other hand, vulnerable Lebanese are disproportionally affected by lengthy pre-trial detention for minor crimes that destroy their livelihoods. Those tensions and repeated violations have a negative impact on the local social fabric in host communities and national stability at large.


The projects assumes that by

(i) developing basic security and justice services for host communities and vulnerable groups in municipalities;

(ii) developing the capacities of MoI and MoJ to support municipal police and legal help desks;

(iii) establishing platforms among state actors, as well as between formal and informal actors;

(iv) developing capacities of national state institutions to understand and respond to local security, justice and human rights challenges;

and (v) developing a people-centered culture in security and justice institutions: tensions and conflicts between host communities and Syrian refugees will decrease while building blocks for positive resilience and improved social fabric will be laid.


Achievements & Expected Resutls
• Output 1: Host communities and Syrian refugees have access to basic security services that respond to their needs
• Output 1: Host communities and Syrian refugees have access to basic security services that respond to their needs
• Output 2: MoIM Governorate/District authorities and ISF provide support to municipalities to respond to basic security needs
• Output 3: Vulnerable groups, including women, have access to basic justice services
• Output 4: Basic needs of prison population at risk are addressed


Issues & Difficulties
• Municipalities want to professionalise their municipal police and move towards a community policing approach to security; Community policing is the new police-model identified by the ISF new Strategic Plan. The adoption of a community policing model is a long-term endeavor that will require important technical and financial resources over the years;
• Need to promote the recruitment of female municipal police in order to security forces to reflect the diversity of the population and better respond to its security needs;
• Civil society is increasingly requesting greater accountability from security forces. The new ISF Strategic Plan responds to such demand. Need to support the ISF measures in this area;
• Need for increased policy dialogue with government counterparts and concrete support to establish the National Human Rights Commission/National Preventive Mechanism against Torture and increase access to legal assistance.

Related Documents

Fact Sheet 2017

Project Document 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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