Friday, February 8, 2013

Are complexities in legal procedures inducing Statelessness in Lebanon?

LOST’s relentless efforts to tackle statelessness in coordination with The World Bank a study conducted by LOST in 2012 as part of the World Bank regional program on identifying the demand side of the justice sector services in the region located more than 900 people labeled as stateless in Northern Bekaa within a short period of time; some estimates assert that the number reaches 80,000 people all over Lebanon. Lacking of information on administrative procedures, residents of the area do not properly register marriages and births at the time they occur.

As a result, to later procure ID documents, registration must take place through religious and civil court proceedings after obtaining documents from local officials (mucktars) and medical institutions (hospital or midwife), which is more complicated and expensive than administrative procedures, and thus more difficult for poor people to afford.

Thus, complexities of marriage registration resulting in failure to register births have proven to be the underlying cause of citizens ending up as stateless.    

LOST is currently conducting a four-month research, funded by the World Bank,assessing legal procedures in marriage and birth registration. The study will conclude in June 2013 and its findings will feed into the various initiatives addressing the issue of statelessness.