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Lebanon: Inter-Agency - Protection Sector Chapter - 2020 Update of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan

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Overall sector strategy

The overarching objective of the Protection sector in Lebanon is that persons displaced from Syria and other individuals in a vulnerable situation have their rights respected and that they live in safety and dignity.

To meet this objective, the sector strategy aims to ensure that:

a. persons displaced from Syria have their basic rights respected, including protection against refoulement and access to legal residency;

b. displaced and host communities are empowered to play a leading role in the identification, prevention of and response to protection concerns;

c. national institutions are supported so that displaced persons and other individuals in vulnerable situation have enhanced access to protection and essential services;

d. persons with compelling protection risks or heightened vulnerabilities have access to durable solutions;

e. risks of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are reduced and survivors supported;

f. children are protected from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect; and g. persons with specific needs have equal access to both general and specialized services.

The sector will implement interventions using a peoplecentred and rights-based approach targeting the institutional, community and individual levels.

Cornerstone activities for the Protection sector are to ensure that displaced persons have access to registration and legal stay, and that mechanisms are in place to guarantee non-refoulement. In addition, access to civil documentation remains a critical priority to ensure that displaced children and adults are recognized as persons before the law, that they can subsequently enjoy their essential rights, including freedom of movement, and that they have access to services. The sector will work closely with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) at central and local level on protection interventions for displaced Syrians, concerning access to territory,1 legal residency, access to justice, civil status documentation,2 and evictions. The sector will also engage with other line ministries, including MoIM, MEHE, MoPH, MoJ and MoL, and non-governmental agencies to strengthen national systems on child protection and protection against sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), including legislative and national policies which assist in maintaining a protective environment for women, girls, boys and men affected by the Syria crisis. The sector will support a multi-sectoral strategy at national level for addressing violence against children, child marriage, child labour, and for addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.

The Government of Lebanon and international partners highlighted, in the Lebanon Partnership Paper, the importance of supporting and upholding the rule of law to preserve a dignified stay for persons displaced from Syria.

The success of the strategy to ensure better protection for individuals and families has been set on correlated assumptions which includes the Government of Lebanon, with continuous support of the international community, strengthening the overall protection environment in the country by ensuring access to territory to persons in need of international protection and upholding the non-refoulement principle, as well as enabling eligible refugees to obtain legal residency and facilitating access to civil documentation. This also encompasses ongoing engagement to improve and enforce the legal framework for better protection of women, girls, boys and men against SGBV and child protection risks. Moreover, the achievement of the protection strategy objective depends on outreach to displaced persons remaining possible and services continuing to be delivered, in close coordination with local and international organizations and with relevant ministries (in particular MoSA).

The sector will foster meaningful engagement with both displaced and host communities across sex, age, nationality, disability and socio-economic status throughout the programme cycle. It will make use of local influencers including community groups and networks, civil society, local leaders and key gatekeepers to achieve this engagement. The sector strategy will prioritize the following interventions:

– Displaced and host communities’ empowerment to enhance resilience, inclusion and participation in spite of a challenging protection environment and to reduce social isolation (including through awareness raising, information dissemination and consultations for better programming

– Challenge harmful social norms and practices and promote positive norms and behavioural change towards protective practices, gender equality, including women empowerment and positive masculinity fostering, disability inclusion, and stronger child participation (through for instance positive parenting sessions encouraging role models and positive alternatives, and psychosocial support activities for adolescents girls addressing child marriage

– Strengthen accountability of local institutions and gatekeepers vis-à-vis affected people, by promoting an open dialogue with communities on protection risks and needs and encouraging feedback on interventions and possible solutions.