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Reporting Child Abuse in Lebanon:

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Nathalie Boulos

on 20 September 2013

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Transcript of Reporting Child Abuse in Lebanon:

Reporting Child Abuse in Lebanon:
Process and Limitations

Thank you
Definition of child abuse
Lebanese constitution:

"Any act that exposes the child to the risk of exploitation or threatens his/her health, wellbeing, morals and development"
In accordance with the CRC - 1989

"Sanctions the types of discipline inflicted on children by their parents and teachers in form of physical education"

Multiple drafted amendments
Latest draft: social protection or legal protection
Who? To whom?
Child, his/her parents, caregivers, legal guardians, social assistants, the public prosecutor, anonymous
No mandatory reporting

To Whom?
No sole reference
Internal Security Forces, the office of the public prosecutor, the court of the juveniles, and all officially registered NGOs
Confidentiality and Safeguards
Right to remain anonymous in reporting
and what follows

Not a breach if the information is relayed to the official authorities

Physicians and the Lebanese Code of Medical Ethics
Literature review:
Saab’s Medical Library-Lebanese Corner
WHO, UNICEF and Lebanese Law
Qualitative theory approach
CITI exam/ IRB exemption
Topic guide
Semi-structured interviews
Data collection → Data saturation
Data analysis → Unified themes
Child < 18 y.o
Special safeguards & care
Maltreatment: abuse & neglect
High prevalence
Hospital & Clinic
Vague wording of the law 422/2002 → subjective definition of abuse and interpretation
Not all forms of child abuse are classified equally as crimes
Article 186 contradicting the agreement on Child’s rights in allowing some forms of physical disciplining
Reporting not mandatory for public/private professions
No punitive action on witnesses of abuse who do not report
No social responsibility for citizens
No well established witness protection program for reporters
No step by step approach to the
process of reporting
No specialized unit from which the reporting process can start
No defined rights & responsibilities of each
Judge not specialized, ISF not experienced, time span not specified
Cumbersome process for law amendments
Juvenile Court
Social Worker
Social Worker:
Social Worker
Calling NGO → primary assessment
over the phone
If not life threatening → home visit
If life threatening → inform police & rapid interference from the court of juveniles
Reporting Process
Reporting Process
In hospitals → reports to child protection committee if present
Committee takes further legal responsibilities
Reporters can stay anonymous
Physicians remain anonymous
Reporting System
Ministry of Social Affairs
Sexual or life threatening events:
Call the police or UPEL → social worker or police for investigation → child at the police station with a social worker → Palace of Justice → court → removal of the child from the offensive environment
Physical abuse not life threatening:
Call MoSA 1714→ state social workers and the NGOs
Reporting System
Ministry of Education
Abuse → parents advice and guidance
Abuse continues → responsible authorities

Kidproof 9 awareness (child/parent/teacher)
Kindergarten - grade 12
Booklets free in public; 1$ in private schools
Grossly funded by private sector

Lack of a unified national mode of

Lack of enough personnel to cover the load

Limited community's understanding of child abuse
Lack of unified screening tool
Medical personnel not well trained to detect abuse and report it
Lack of trained social workers
Multiple NGOs with lack of coordination
Limited number of CPC in hospitals
No reporting of data to the government
Social Affairs & Education
Time frame
Securing all interviews (Religious figures, UPEL…)
Losing 2 days of fieldwork (IRB)
Limiting experts to greater Beirut Area
Interviewing experts not the general population
Limited number of studies in Lebanon about child abuse
Minimal funding allocated to services post reporting
No efficient auditing on allocated funds
No contribution from the ministries of education or public health for follow up

Ministry of Social Affairs:
Total 143 billion LL
70% --> 40 NGO providing care for children
Funders: Italian Corporation, UN agencies, and Embassies

Ministry of Education:
Total 7333 billion LL
2% for public school systems

Ministry of Justice

Juvenile department 700 million LL
300 million LL → UPEL
225million LL → rehabilitation centers
50 million LL → follow up with children and families
50 million LL → psychological support
40 million LL → educational training
35 million LL → professional training

Refine child abuse definition in 422/2002
Abolish law 186
Standardize the reporting process and the role of each sector
Mandate reporting for specific professions with punitive measures
Create a witness protection program
Provide specialized training for judges/lawyers
Centralize reporting to a Child Bureau in MoSA
Create child friendly hotline 24/7
Increase number of trained social workers
Allocate a greater budget to children's welfare
Place complaint boxes in schools
Implement Kidproof nation wide yearly
Establish ISF specialized juvenile unit
Impose social responsibility
Increase number of rehabilitation centers
Media assistance in awareness
Organize NGOs in 1 national network
Found hospital CPCs in all peripheries
Train doctors and medical students for detection/reporting
Encourage private sector to train the public sector
Offer governmental financial support to NGOs
Authority given to the state regarding the child’s welfare

Social worker assigned, submitting periodic reports

No direct public services → depend on NGOs

Before 2005: UPEL only contracted agency for follow-up of cases (UPEL social workers present in regional Palaces of Justice)
After 2005: other NGOs contracted by the MoJ
Article 27 of Law 422
Keep the child in his/her natural environment only if assistance can be secured for the caregivers . At any time the court retains the right to file a request for protection

Options for protection: extended family, surrogate family or social institution sponsored by the corresponding ministries

Child obliged to receive proper education by law

Perpetrator financing the basic needs and measures taken by the court

MoSA: collaboration with “Psychiatric Medical Center” for follow up on cases of sexual abuse covered by the government

MPH: collaboration with NGOs and private institutions for housing

Public schools: if not severe, case under their supervision until it is resolved
Major → child kept in custody of the hospital → judge
Minor → decisions communicated to the family and follow up

Evaluate the need for psychological, social rehabilitation and follow up
Forensic doctor visit arranged
Substitute for housing: families or institutions
Resilience program
No organization of the surrogate families
No emphasis on the perpetrator to fulfill obligations
Limited number of governmental rehabilitation centers
Small number of social workers
No financial compensation for the family
No binding responsibility for MoE, MoPH to provide educational nor health services
Dr. Jocelyn Dejong
Prepared by:
Ahmad Al Turk
Ahmed Amer
Ghadi Abou Daher
Lama Ghazi
Mahmoud Abdel Aziz
Nathalie Boulos
Nour Al Jalbout
Nour Hamadeh
Legal Aspect
Process of Reporting
Services Post Reporting
Recommendations & Conclusion
Lebanon & child abuse
Studies in Lebanon
Research question
Relevance to the Lebanese Public Health
Convention on the Rights of the Child. (1990).
Anon. Data Overview - People and Households - U_S_ Census Bureau.
Declaration of the rights of the child. (1990).
Krug G., et al World report on violence. 2002.
Svevo-cianci, K. A., (2010). Child Abuse & Neglect
Usta, J., et al (2012). Child : Child maltreatment : the Lebanese children ’ s experiences
Anon. List of Members’ Date of Entry.
Bcheraoui, C. E. (2012). Physical and verbal / emotional abuse of schoolchildren
Lebanese Law. Protection of Delinquent Minors and Children Danger: 422/2002. 2002.
Lebanese Law. Protection of Delinquent Minors and Children Danger: 422/2002. 2002.
Lebanese Law. Law of Bioethics: Article 15. 1994.
Lebanese Law. Protection of Delinquent Minors and Children Danger: 422/2002. 2002.
Interview with Lawyer (leader in child abuse)
Interview with the head of HCC
Interview with the Minister of Education
Interview with the head of HIMAYA and KAFA
Interview with a leading pediatrician in Hotel Dieu de France
Interview with a leading psychologist in AUBMC
Interview with the Minister of Education
Lebanese Law. Protection of Delinquent Minors and Children Danger: 422/2002. 2002.
UNICEF. Strengthening the Child Protection System in Lebanon.; 2012.
Lebanese Law. Protection of Delinquent Minors and Children Danger: 422/2002. 2002.
UNICEF. Strengthening the Child Protection System in Lebanon.; 2012.
Interview with former Minister of Social Affairs
Interview with Minister of Education
Interview with a leading pediatrician in Hotel Dieu de France
Interview with a leading psychologist in AUBMC
Inter view with head of HIMAYA
Ministry of Finance: annual budget report 2010
Ministry of Finance: annual budget report 2010
Full transcript