Theses Master's

The Lebanese Legal System’s Contribution to Child Marriage

El Kobrousli, Nadine

Efforts to eradicate issues of women’s rights and gender-based violence, especially child marriage, have for years been concealed because of their sensitive links to religious and cultural ideals. Research has shown that those most affected by such forms of violence are the most vulnerable and often in a state of migration. Lebanon, today, hosts more than two million refugees of Syrian and Palestinian descent with little to no preparations on their housing and living requirements. Consequently, rates of law violations especially against women and minors are clearly evident within these populations. Recent data has shown that the rates of child marriage among the Syrian community across Lebanon are alarming with a common belief that this is a practice only in occurrence among the migrating population. Nevertheless, the legal system in Lebanon does in fact allow child marriage and remains very reluctant for passing amendments regarding this issue.

The recent prominence of child marriage in Lebanon has opened the eyes of the civil society to take a stance and advocate against the independent personal status system in the country. Little scholarly research has been done to demonstrate where and how the legal system falls short in addressing such a critical matter. This paper aims to close the gap in the existing academic literature on the personal status system in Lebanon and women’s rights. Furthermore, efforts of the international community on children’s rights, particularly early marriage are recorded in this thesis along with Lebanon’s unwillingness to properly execute new measures granting women and children their deserved rights. To investigate these issues, this study applies a human rights framework to the following research question: How does the Lebanese legal system allow for child marriage, particularly among refugees?

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Holland, Tracey M.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
August 24, 2020