The American University in Cairo Center for Migration and Refugee Studies Database
Legal Instruments
Statistics and Figures

  Legal Instruments   

This section provides a list of international conventions and regional/bilateral agreements to which each country is a signatory, as well as national legislation that deals with movement, migration, asylum and human rights. Each listing includes a PDF/ link to a publically accessible document of the convention/law mentioned.
  International Conventions:

General International Law

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 24 April 1963 (entered into force 19 March 1967) 596 U.N.T.S 261.

Signed 1963, Ratified 1975


International Criminal Law

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 10 December 1984 (entered into force 26 June 1987) 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 [CAT].
Ratified 2000

Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 15 November 2000) 2241 U.N.T.S. 507 [Palermo Protocol].

Signed 2002, Ratified 2005



Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 15 December 2000) 2237 U.N.T.S 319 [Palermo Protocol]

Signed 2002, Ratified 2005



United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 29 September 2003) 2225 U.N.T.S 209.

Signed 2001, Ratified 2005




International Human Rights Law 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 18 December 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S 513 [CEDAW].

Ratified 1997



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 7 March 1966, 660 U.N.T.S 195 [CERD].

Ratified 1971



Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3 [CRC].

Signed 1990, Ratified 1991



International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 16 December 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171 [ICCPR].

Ratified 1972



International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966 (entered into force 3 Jan 1976) 993 U.N.T.S. 3 [ICESCR].
Ratified 1972

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/217 A (III), 10 December 1948, Art 14. [UDHR].



International humanitarian law 

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 31 [First Geneva Convention].

Signed 1949, Ratified 1951

Link to Conv.

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 85 [Second Geneva Convention].

Signed 1949, Ratified 1951

Link to Conv.

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 135 [Third Geneva Convention].

Signed 1949, Ratified 1951

Link to Conv.


Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 287 [Fourth Geneva Convention].

Signed 1949, Ratified 1951

Link to Conv.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977 (entered into force Dec. 7, 1978.) 1125 U.N.T.S. 3 [Protocol I].

Ratified 1997

Link to Protocol.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978) 1125 U.N.T.S. 609 [Protocol II].

Ratified 1997

Link to Protocol


International Labor Law

ILO Convention C 111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958).

Ratified 1977

Link to Conv.


ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2005).

Link to Framework

  Regional and Bilateral Agreements:

Regional Agreements 

The Statute of the Organization for the Development of Women in the OIC Member States PDF


Irregular Migration & Readmission Agreements 

EU-Lebanon Association Agreement on readmitting nationals illegally presents in their respective territories (2006)


Labor Agreements 

Labor Agreement between Lebanon and Egypt (1993).

Agreement between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Government of Lebanon regarding employment of their nationals in the other country (1991).


Social Security Agreements

Protocol on the social insurance of students in Lebanon and France (1973)


Other Relevant Agreements 

Cooperation Agreement between Lebanon and Bulgaria in the field of tourism (2011)

Agreement between Cyprus and Lebanon on tourism (2005) 
Link to Agreement

Agreement between Cyprus and Lebanon on cultural, educational and scientific cooperation (2002).
Link to Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Republic of Lebanon on the abolition of the visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, special and service passports (2008). 
Link to Agreement

  National Legislation:

 Nationality Laws

Decree No. 15 of 1925 modified by law of 1960 on naturalization rules

Law No. 09/10/1962 of 1962 on withdrawal of nationality 
Refworld PDF_Eg

Legislative Decree No. 113 of 16 September 1983 provides the acquisition of Lebanese foreigners of land rights by natural or legal persons to obtain a permit and specifies the cases of exceptions


Entry and Exit 

  Order No. 319 of 2 August 1962 on entering and leaving the territory


Migration and Labor 

Law No. 23 of 1946, the Labor law

Decree No. 15 of 1925 modified by law of 1960

Social Security Law of 1963

Decree No. 17561 of 18 September 1964 regulates the work of aliens

Order No. 334 of 5 August of 1965 concerning the control of domestic governesses, servants and cooks working in houses indicates that requests for prior authorization for entry into Lebanese territory must be accompanied by a written undertaking from the employer to include in the employee's contract a statement as to the cost of repatriation of the employee, Foreign employee

Decree No. 9816 of 4 May of 1968 implements the draft law of urgency transmitted to the Chamber of Deputies by Decree No. 5970 of 14 November 1966 amending certain provisions of the Act of 17 September 1962 concerning the amendment and preparation of criminal offenses relating to offenses relating to breaches of the Labor Code, the Act on Social Security and the Employment of Foreigners without a Work Permit

Order No. 136 of 20 September of 1969 concerning the residence card for aliens in Lebanon which is compulsory for foreigners staying in Lebanon for more than 3 weeks

Order No. 42/2 of 2 February of 1970 Establishes four categories of foreign workers for the purpose of applying the tax on work permits

Act No. 44/86 of 1986 amending the second paragraph of section 26 of Act No. 1/70 of 19 January 1970 as amended by table No. 9 and section 28 of the Finance Act of 1984 , Concerning taxes on work permits for foreigners which Fixes taxes according to a classification of foreigners in four categories established according to their activity and their salary

Decision No. 621/1 of 1995 on occupations reserved to Lebanese nationals 

Decision No. 1/49 of 1997 on professions where children are allowed to work

Decree No. 10955 of 2003 amending certain provisions of Decree No. 10188 of 28 July 1962 and its amendments list the persons to whom the Director of the general security can grant residence permits of courtesy for three years renewable

Decree No. 14268 of 2005 amending amended Decree No. 17561 of 18 September 1964 regulates the work of aliens

Order No. 151959 of 2005 combating child labor

 Decree No. 2232 of 2009 lays down the conditions for the granting of a work permit to foreigners in the special economic zone of Tripoli. The Decree provides that foreigners wish to work must provide approval from the authority prior to arrival, and then apply for a work permit within 15 days of arrival

Law No. 25 of 2008 on parliamentary election allowing Lebanese living abroad to vote

Decree No. 4186 of 2010 amending Decree No. 10188 of 1962 on the implementation of the law regulating the entry, exist and stay in Lebanon
Link to the Official Gazatte

Law No. 129 of 2010 amending Article 59 of the Labor Code of 1964

Decision No. 1 of 2011 on organizing an office to receive foreign workers

Notice No. 1/16 of 2012 on recruiting in the fishing industry 

Decision No. 1/18 of 2012 on establishing a commission to combat child labor

Decision No. 7 of 2013 on releasing Palestinians from the obligation of receiving medical check up for work

Decision 1/197 of 2014 regarding professions that are restricted to Lebanese nationals only 

Notice No. 1/26 of 2014 on not accepting workers from Sierra Leon, Guinea and Liberia 

Notice No. 1/27 of 2014 requiring workers to get a medical check up 

Notice 1/32 of 2014 prohibiting the recruitment of workers from selected African countries 

Notice No. 1/48 of 2014 on prohibiting recruitment agencies from advertising in the media

Notice No. 1/47 of 2014 requiring foreign workers to get a medical check up

Notice No. 1/49 of 2014 on female domestic workers from Madagascar 

Decision No. 1/129 of 2015 regarding renewal of work permit in ministry of labor

Ministerial Decision No. 1/168 of 2015 regarding setting recruitment offices for female domestic workers

Decision No. 1/130 2015 regarding Syrian workers who are delayed in processing their paperwork 

Notice No. 1/32 of 2015 regarding registering work permits for Syrians

Notice No. 2/36 of 2015 on accepting sponsorship for workers from Guinea 

 Decree No. 7426 of 2012 on setting a minimum wage

Decision No. 1/49 of 2017 om procedures for granting work permits for foreign workers

Decision No. 1/41 of 2017 appealing Decision 1/218 of 2015, on restricting certain professions to Lebanese only


Smuggling and Trafficking 

 Law No. 164 of 2011 against human trafficking places a punishment for the Crime of Trafficking in Persons


  Statistics and Figures:   

This section provides links to regularly updated sites that provide statistics on migrants and refugees in different countries around the world.

Below are links to various databases that provide statistics and figures relevant to the movement of people in and out of Lebanon:  

The World Bank 

UNFPA Migration Indicator 

UNHCR Statistics Database

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre


This section includes a comprehensive list of sources and links to journal articles, books, webpages, etc. for each country in the database that address migration and refugee topics within the context of education, health, legal, psychosocial, political, among others. Each listed source includes a brief description of the material and a link.


Link to Researchers

 Ali, Khaled B. "The Trafficking of Ethiopian Domestic Workers into Lebanon: Navigating through a Novel Passage of the International Maid Trade." Berkeley Journal of International Law 24.3 (2006): 1009-1045. Link to Article

Keyword: trafficking, domestic workers, Lebanon, international trade

This paper examines the trafficking of  Ethiopian women into Lebanon providing narrative on the journey from Ethiopia to Lebanon and arguing that it is a form of human trafficking given the recruitment methods and conditions of work. 

Fernandez, Bina. "Traffickers, Brokers, Employment Agents, and Social Networks: The Regulation of Intermediaries in the Migration of Ethiopian Domestic Workers to the Middle East." International Migration Review 47.4(2013): 814-843. Link to Article

Keyword: human trafficking, employment, agents, social networks, migration, Ethiopian, domestic, workers, Middle East, Kuwait

Drawing on empirical research in Ethiopia, Lebanon and Kuwait, this paper focuses on the intermediaries who facilitate Ethiopian women's employment as contract domestic workers in the Middle East. The paper argues that states and international agencies fail to regulate intermediaries of migration and calls for a decentered approach to regulation that can provide a productive diagnosis of regulatory failure. 

Hamil, Kathleen. "Trafficking of Migrant Domestic Workers In Lebanon: A Legal Analysis." Kafa (enough) Violence and Exploitation (2011). Link to PDF

Keyword: trafficking, migrant, domestic, workers, Lebanon, legal, analysis 

This report provides detailed analysis of domestic work in Lebanon within the context of human trafficking calling for a better protection and legal mechanisms to ameliorate the issue. 

Jureidini, Ray, Nayla Moukarbel. "Female Sri Lankan Domestic Workers in Lebanon: A Case of ‘Contract Slavery?" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 30.4 (2004)581-607. Link to Article

Keyword: domestic worker, female migrants, women, contract slavery, Sri Lanka, Lebanon

Based on an analysis of 70 interviews with Sri Lankan women in Lebanon, this paper argues that Sri Lankan female labor in Lebanon falls into the category of 'contract slavery' given the legal and employment conditions they face. 

Gender and Migration in Arab States: The Case of Domestic Workers. Beirut: International Labour Organization. Simel Esim and Monia Smith (Eds.). 2004. Link to PDF

Keyword: domestic, workers, ILO, gender, Arab states, migration 

This report includes five chapters that addresses that situation of women domestic workers in five different Arab states. Chapter four sheds the light on the conditions of female domestic workers in Lebanon, focusing on the recruitment, kinds of work, coping mechanism, and national and international reforms to address the issues that arise with domestic work. 


Al-Hroub, Anies. "Perspectives of School Dropouts’ Dilemma in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon: An Ethnographic Study." International Journal of Educational Development 35 (2014): 53-66. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: school, education, dropouts, Palestinian, refugee, camps, Lebanon, ethnography, UNRWA, child labor

This article explores the perspectives of students, administrators, teachers and parents on the UNRWA school dropouts in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. The study relies on field data constituting one on one interviews with 11 dropout students and FGD with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. The results find that a range of factors, including socioeconomic conditions, race, gender, ethnicity, and family status all are contributing factors to the decision of dropping out. 

Allan, Diana. Mythologising Al-Nakba: Narratives, Collective Identity and Cultural Practice among Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon. Oral History Society 33.1(2005): 47-56. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: al nakba, identity, culture, Palestinian, refugees, Lebanon, national, history, personal, memory

This article is concerned with the 1948 narratives in Palestinian history in the production of national belonging in Shateela camp, Lebanon. The article suggests that cultural transmission depends less on oral performance and commemorative practices memorializing 1948 than on fragmentary moments that make up the idiomatic fabric of everyday life. New communication technologies are altering the form and content of historical discourse, with the processes of transmission becoming less narrative+based, more visual and increasingly individuated. 

Brynen, Rex. Imagining a Solution: Final Status Arrangements and Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon.” Journal of Palestine Studies 26.2 (1997): 42-58. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: Palestinian, refugees, Lebanon, 

This article is concerned with possible framework for the Palestinian-Israeli final status arrangements surrounding the issue of Palestinian refugees and assesses the implications of it for Lebanon and the Palestinian refugee population residing there. 

Fincham, Kathleen. "Learning the Nation in Exile: Constructing Youth Identities, Belonging and "Citizenship" in Palestinian Refugee Camps in South Lebanon." Comparative Education 48.1 (2012): 119-33. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: identities, belonging, citizenship, nation, exile, Palestinian, refugee camp, Lebanon, South, youth 

This paper examines the way in which 'Palestinianss' and 'Palestinian' are culturally, socially and symbolically produced and regulated through formal and non-formal institutional sites in Palestinian camps in South Lebanon. The paper argues that while institutional power, processes and outcomes help in constructing shared notions of 'Palestinianss,' they also create contestations and internal 'others'. 

Hanafi, Sari. "Employment of Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon: Opportunities and Hurdles." Refugee Survey Quarterly 33.4 (2014): 31. Link to Article

Keyword: Palestinian, refugees, women, Lebanon, employment 

Given Palestinians' inability to participate in Lebanon's labor market, this paper examines the implications of such exclusion on the employment statues of Palestinian women. More specifically, it focuses on the undergraduate women who receive the Scholarship Fund for Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon, a multi-donor intuitive managed by the International Development Research Centre in Canada and UNRWA in Lebanon. The methodology for this paper consists of interviews of the 201 women who received the scholarship. The study found that the better education for the Palestinian women, the more likely they are to be employed;Lebanon's policies did not completely bar women from participating in the labor market as some took the form of low-paid segments of the economy and working in the black labor markets; and finally, the exclusion policies deterred new generations from pursuing higher education. 

Knudsen, Are. "Islamism in the Diaspora: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon." Journal of Refugee Studies 18.2 (2005): 216-234Link to Article

Keyword: Islamism, diaspora, Palestinian, refugees, Lebanon 

With the increasingly popularity of academic interests in Islamism in the Middle East, this article outlines the sources of political Islam among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Based on interviews with representative of Palestinian NGOs, the refugee bureaucracy, political parties and Islamist groups as well as specialist on Lebanese Islamism, the author argues that Islamist groups cater for small segments of the camp-based refugee community  that compete with secular groups for internal control of the camp, and by implications, the Palestinian nationalist cause. 

Knudsen, Are. "Widening the Protection Gap: The 'Politics of Citizenship' for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, 1948-2008." Journal of Refugee Studies 22.1 (2009): 51-73Link to Article

Keyword: protection, citizenship, refugee, Palestinians, Lebanon, politics, statelessness 

The status of Palestinian refugees is complex in their host countries and in international law. This article demonstrates how there exist a protection gap for Palestinian refugees which was created and widened by historically contingent, international, regional and national legal rights regimes. As such, the author examines the rights of Palestinian refugees under international law, especially with the creation of UNRWA; the 'Casablanca Protocol;' the implications of weak international and weakened regional protection for refugees in Lebanon; the role of the executive's patronage of the judiciary i post-civil war Lebanon demonstrating how the 'politics of citizenship' widened the protection gap and institutionalized legal discrimination against refugees. 

Latif, Nadia. Fallahin, Fida'Iyyin, Laji'in: Palestinian Camp Refugees in Lebanon as Autochthons.” Arab Studies Journal 19.1 (2011): 42-64Link to Article

Keyword: refugee camps, Lebanon, Fallahin, Fida'Iyyin, Laji'in, autochthons 

This essay explores the contours of the roles in Palestinian nationalist narratives as peasants, freedom fights and refugees through a comparison of their representations in nationalist narrative and in Palestinian camp refugees' accounts of their lives in Lebanon during 2003-2006. 

Meier, Daniel. "Matrimonial Strategies and Identity Relations between Palestinian Refugees and Lebanese After the Lebanese Civil War." Journal of Refugee Studies 23.2 (2010): 111-133. (summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: matrimonial, identity, relations, Palestinian, refugees, Lebanese, civil war, Lebanon, intermarriage 

This paper examines relationships between matrimonial ties and identity in post civil war Lebanon with regard to the Palestinian refugee case. The author demonstrates the implications of Lebanese and Palestinian shared history, gives a general overview of issues related to the presence of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, examines narrative registers used by the Lebanese-Palestinian couples, and evaluates collective determination of choices in marriages. 

Parkinson, Sarah E., and Orkideh Behrouzan. "Negotiating Health and Life: Syrian Refugees and the Politics of Access in Lebanon." Social Science and Medicine 146 (2015): 324-331. Link to Article

Keyword: health, life, Syrian, refugees, politics, Lebanon

This article explores the interplay between access to healthcare and refugees' daily experiences of exile, and humanitarian bureaucracy. The author draws on 'therapeutic geographies' to argue for the integration of the local socio political context and situated knowledge into understandings of humanitarian healthcare systems.  


Belényesi, Pál; Abuhaydar, Zina. "The socio-cultural conundrum of palestinian refugees in Lebanon" Society and Economy; Budapest 39.2  (2017): 251-270. Link to Article

Keyword: Palestinian refugees, cultural integration, economic incentives

This article conducts numerous interviews of de facto stateless Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, taking note of the cultural similarities and differences. 


UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "Global Action Plan to End Statelessness." UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2014). Link to Article

Keyword: born, gender, protection, documentation 

                        “To End Statelessness within 10 years, the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: 2014-2024 establishes a guiding framework of 10 Actions to be undertaken by States with the support of UNHCR and other stakeholders to: resolve existing major situations of statelessness, prevent new cases of statelessness from emerging and better identity and protect stateless populations.”