PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRON

Introduction


Without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law - we cannot hope for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity, while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.


High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk.


Home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, the Arab region was home to almost 47 percent of the world’s internally displaced population in 2014 and 57.5 percent of the world’s refugees. Most of those were forcibly displaced because of conflict and violence, as the Arab region has witnessed almost 18 percent of the world conflicts between 1948 and 2014, 45 percent of global terrorist attacks in 2014, and 68 percent of the world’s battle-related deaths in the same year.


The value of the Human Development Index for Libya and Syria has dwindled to levels last seen 15 years ago. Other estimates suggest that Syria may have lost over 35 years of hard-won gains in human development.


Lebanon has a unique political system constructed to safeguard peace and justice. However, parliamentary elections have been postponed twice, parliament was unable to elect a president 44 for almost two and a half years, and government institutions are becoming weaker. Many Lebanese are losing faith in the ability of government to provide services, ensure accountability and justice to the population. Furthermore, the perceived threat of terrorism and the risk of radicalization are affecting daily lives and the stability of the country.

Excursion “ Social Justice and Human Rights”

The Center organized and participated in the “ Social Justice and Human Rights” excursion in collaboration with University of Cologne and Hamad Bin Khalifa. Amman- Jordan, 16th – 24th of May 2016. This program was in coordination with the department of the Middle East Studies in Cologne University and the faculty of Islamic Studies in the University of Hamad Ben Khalifa-Qatar.

The Human Rights Center (HRC) at Beirut Arab University concluded its summer school which focused this year on the issue of immigration and social justice and was attended by Arab and foreign students.


The one-week workshop which started on 28/9/2015 and ended on 5/10/2015 aimed at enhancing students’ legal, historical and cultural competence on this phenomenon affecting both European and Arab societies. The workshop was entitled “Global Justice & Migration: Middle Eastern & European Perspectives”, with the participation of 36 students from Beirut Arab University, the University of Cologne, Hamad Bin Khalifa University – Doha. These universities collaborate in the field of training students in human rights issues.

The lectures and workshops dealt with the laws, theories, history and literatures of immigration, and were followed by field visits to the Migrants Center at Caritas and the Palestinian Organization for Human Rights at Mar Elias Camp, for a better understanding of the social and legal circumstances of immigrants and refugees.

A joint statement from 11 university Presidents - Let us stand together to heal the wounds and demand justice


Let us stand together to heal the wounds and demand justice

We, the presidents of the undersigned 11 universities, have witnessed the devastation to our beloved capital city of Beirut with great pain and growing concern. We have seen the hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, including many among our own communities. Our universities have sustained and absorbed serious damages to many of our campuses and hospitals and the homes of our people. Yet, we have also seen this destruction countered by the magnificent, inspirational examples of our physicians, nurses, and staff members in the hospitals, as well as our students, faculty members, alumni, and staff who are mobilizing to help the wounded, pick up debris in the streets, offer shelter to those who have lost their homes, and help search for those many unfortunates still trapped under the rubble.


Our hearts break for our beloved Beirut. Every one of us has grown up to a large degree in this magical, irreplaceable, irretrievable city. We pledge to make every effort to rebuild it and heal our communities. As the Lebanese people mourn, heal, rebuild, and repair, our universities in turn pledge to mourn, build, heal, and repair with them, and with Beirut, our shining capital city, damaged, broken, but of incalculable value, a shining star of shared destiny for the diverse groups of people who call it home. We pledge to never abandon Beirut, Lebanon, and our communities in these dark times and throughout the difficult years to come.


We also stand ready to assist now in any way we can. Our hospitals are open and our emergency rooms are receiving patients day after day, regardless of their ability to afford treatment. We will do everything possible to create tangible opportunities to support our students’ education and wellbeing irrespective of the collapse of the Lebanese economy and the additional burden placed on the Lebanese people by this latest catastrophe. Our 11 universities will stand firmly by our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and communities through this catastrophe as we have stood by Lebanon and the Lebanese people throughout the decades.


We share the anger all citizens of Beirut, Lebanon, and the world feel towards this entirely preventable disaster. We do believe there must be accountability and, in time, justice for this criminal, monstrous explosion. We fully support a transparent, expert, independent and just investigation of the destruction of Beirut. But first and foremost, our main priority must be to care for those wounded and displaced by this horrific explosion. As such, we stand together, with constancy and devotion, with our people, from now until the end of this crisis and whatever the future may bring.


Throughout these terrible days we have collaborated and cooperated with one another and with the first responders and other brave personnel, all of whom risked their lives to save others, far too many of whom paid the ultimate price. To honor them and all those who died, we must pull together to bind the many, still open wounds. We do so by expressing our love for our communities, by opening our doors to them whenever and wherever we can, and by caring for those who were severely injured and those who lost family members or homes, all the way through the end of this healing process. And out of that healing must come a strong, sustainable and accountable civil state, a nation of laws and decency, one which will never allow such a tragedy to occur again.


With love and devotion,

  • The American University of Beirut

  • Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth

  • Beirut Arab University

  • Université la Sagesse

  • Lebanese American University

  • Haigazian University

  • Holy Spirit University of Kaslik

  • Notre Dame University-Louaize

  • Islamic University of Lebanon

  • University of Balamand

  • Antonine University

Social Justice


Social justice is a fundamental humanitarian requirement in the state of right and law; although it is practically important as a political principle in various intellectual doctrines, it has remained merely a guiding idea for the legislator; the general nature of constitutions in terms of social justice assumes that individuals are recognized for a range of rights that preserve their human dignity as an immediate obligation;


Thus, the importance of establishing the principle of social justice in the constitution in a clear and specific formulation through the enumeration of a list of guaranteed social and economic rights helps the constitutional judge, in terms of the mandatoryity of these texts, to establish his provisions, as well as his embrace of the flexible interpretation of different constitutional principles, in the light of the principle of justice on the basis of the ideas of social justice. to date, this has not received sufficient attention from constitutional law researchers.


The research orientation of the general section is therefore based on deepening the constitutional approach to the subject of social justice by focusing on it in the research work of graduate students and by considering the organization of relevant scientific seminars.

Capacity Building on Truth and Justice


The Human Rights Center at BAU organized a capacity building training on “Truth and Justice” at BAU- Tripoli Branch. The training lasted for two consecutive days on 1-2/10/2021 at the Multipurpose Room and was a part of the “Dealing with the Past Memories for Future Rights of Enforced Disappeared Persons” project funded by the United Nations Peace Building Fund and jointly implemented with OHCHR.

This project aims to shed more light on people who experienced the enforced disappearance of others and provide enough information to highlight the root causes of past conflict and present social tensions in addition to opening public debate and facilitating cross-confessional dialogue, which helps engage the Lebanese youth. The participating students from different majors were willing to know more about the core and values of the law  that allow the affected Lebanese to achieve justice and seek the truth.

Judge Sara Rammal inaugurated the first day of the training, discussing the enforced disappearance in the light of concepts of justice and truth. After that, the Vice President of Fighters for Peace Mr. Asaad Chaftari held a debate with the students about true reconciliation and its conditions for the individual and groups. The second day of the training opened with Ms. Lara Al-Deeb, one of the board members of the Committee of the Families of Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon. She gave details about the adoption of the law concerning the absence and the enforced disappearance of persons and the implementation of the resolutions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Afterwards, Mrs. Dala Bazzi, the instructor of physical kinesiology and therapy through dancing, showed a video in which the dancers express their feelings through movement only. This video aims to emphasize the importance of the theatre as a place for people to express their needs and deliver messages to the audience and the role of art and music in expressing solidarity with the issue of the enforced disappeared persons.