Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 04 April 2013
[Chapter] II. The Rights and Duties of the Citizen
Article 6 [Nationality]
Lebanese nationality and the manner in which it is acquired, retained, and lost is to be determined in accordance with the law.
Article 7 [Equality]
All Lebanese are equal before the law. They equally enjoy civil and political rights and equally are bound by public obligations and duties
without any distinction.
Article 8 [Personal Liberty, nulla poena sine lege]
Individual liberty is guaranteed and protected by law. No one may be arrested, imprisoned, or kept in custody except according to the
provisions of the law. No offense may be established or penalty imposed except by law.
Article 9 [Conscience, Belief]
There shall be absolute freedom of conscience. The state in
rendering homage to the Most High shall respect all religions and creeds and guarantees, under its protection, the free exercise of all
religious rites provided that public order is not disturbed. It also guarantees that the personal status and religious interests of the
population, to whatever religious sect they belong, is respected.
Article 10 [Education, Confessional Schools]
Education is free insofar as it is not contrary to public order and morals and does not interfere with the dignity of any of the religions or
creeds. There shall be no violation of the right of religious communities to have their own schools provided they follow the general rules
issued by the state regulating public instruction.
Article 11 [Official National Language]
Arabic is the official national language. A law determines the cases in which the French language may be used.
Article 12 [Public Office]
Every Lebanese has the right to hold public office, no preference being made except on the basis of merit and competence, according to
the conditions established by law. A special statute guarantees the rights of state officials in the departments to which they belong.
Article 13 [Expression, Press, Assembly, Association]
The freedom to express one's opinion orally or in writing, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of
association are guaranteed within the limits established by law.
Article 14 [Home]
The citizen's place of residence is inviolable. No one may enter it except in the circumstances and manners prescribed by law.
Article 15 [Property]
Rights of ownership are protected by law. No one's property may be expropriated except for reasons of public utility in cases established
by law and after fair compensation has been paid beforehand.
Though one of the oldest human occupied regions of the world, earliest documented history
centers on the town of Byblos dating back to 5000 BCE. It became the heart of Phoenician
culture around 2700 BCE and was conquered by Rome in the 1st Century CE with
Christianity introduced shortly thereafter. The Arabs dominated the region and introduced
Islam in the 7th Century with Lebanon heavily involved in the Crusades. Muslim control was
reasserted in the 13th Century under the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt. The Ottoman Turks
gained control of the region around 1516. The Maan family of Syria occupied the Lebanon
mountain region in 1120 introducing the Druze religion but yielded control to the Shibabs in
1692. Beirut became the center of government and commerce in the 19th Century dominated
by Emir Bashir II who was influenced by and yielded control to France in 1832 with the Druze
being overshadowed by the Christian Maronites. Following World War II and the collapse of
the Ottoman Empire, Lebanon came under control of France through a League of Nations
Mandate in 1922. Independence was achieved in 1943 though the region has been beset by
intermittent periods of internal strife along religious and ethnic boundaries, conflicts with
Israel and dominance and occupation by Syria and Israel. It has also been a haven of
Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in Israel. The present constitution was adopted on 23
May 1926. It was most recently amended in October of 1989. Human rights are enumerated
beginning with Chapter Two (The Rights and Duties of the Citizen), conforms with the 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Lebanon is a signatory and are detailed
below. For a full English translation of Lebanon's Constitution, click here.