ALEF - Act for Human Rights Lebanon

ALEF - Act for Human Rights, seeks to strengthen human rights as a cornerstone of social, economic and political development in Lebanon. Through a comprehensive approach to monitoring, defending and providing education on human rights, ALEF hopes to build an influential ‘human rights constituency’ to help realise a durable peace in the country. ALEF believes that in order to have and maintain peace in Lebanon, it is necessary for its people to feel peace. Peace can only be felt as long as certain basic human rights are safeguarded and ensured.

ALEF’s goals and objectives

ALEF aims to:

  • Be a proponent of human rights and friendly policies and practices at the national and regional levels.
  • Establish relationships with stakeholders and partners in order to strengthen collective influence on decision makers.
  • Contribute towards an effective accountability framework through continuous monitoring and reporting of human rights’ violations using targeted advocacy initiatives.
  • Promote human rights values as a basis of durable peace in everyday life.
  • Involve, empower and generate ownership of human rights values among young people, children and their communities.
  • To lead an ongoing national campaign to abolish the death penalty, torture, arbitrary detention, lengthy pre-trial detentions and long delays in trials. To achieve this goal, it organized, with the support of the European Union, a series of trainings that aim at strengthening the capacity of students, young lawyers, and civil society organizations to monitor, document, report and defend fair trial practices in Lebanon.

One pillar of ALEF’s work is solely dedicated to peacebuilding and conflict transformation. It works to create space for Lebanese Youth to discover themselves, the other and their community and to act in a responsible manner. To this end, ALEF has created outreach programs working mainly with young people and children across Lebanon. The conflict transformation work started with the creation of peace and human rights clubs at universities. The project was called “3D- rights, duties and citizenship”.

Its success resulted in a follow up, three phased project entitled ‘Youth Building Reconciliation (YBR)’. It was launched specifically in areas with religious, political, economic and sectarian tensions. To achieve the project’s goals, young people from different backgrounds were put together in workshops on peace education, human rights and conflict transformation. During this training, they were provided with space to express themselves and to talk to others. In the second phase of YBR, ALEF followed the approach of training the trainers, and in a third phase the participants of this project worked as role models for peace and reconciliation in their own communities.

During YBR, ALEF realised through participants feedback that practical tools on conflict transformation were missing. As a result of this assessment, ALEF developed in its third peace-building project, ‘Responsive and Active Youth’, a practical toolboard game to provide interactive conflict transformation training.

ALEF is also taking part in the formation of a national truth and reconciliation coalition whose goal is to work towards reconciliation and permanent peace in Lebanon.

Major achievements

The creation of a culture of peace and conflict transformation among those who were participating in ALEF’s projects in the past. Creation of a culture of volunteerism and activism for peace-building amongst young people; almost all the permanent staff members of ALEF today have worked as volunteers in the field of peace-building for many years with different Lebanese and international NGOs before. Creation of the board game “ta3o Ne7ke” (Let’s Talk) intended to teach young people and children how to transform conflicts and build peace in a playful way. It also teaches participants to break the silence that is part of Lebanese culture when it comes to discussing feelings caused by conflict and war situations. Working at a grassroots level. Development of toolkits for human rights education and conflict transformation.

ALEF's production "hopes and dreams" portraying children's rights challenges in Lebanon was presented at "Stockholm film festival Junior". Children were responsible of the different stages of the film making process, the scenario writing, the shooting, and the overall production.

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, ALEF has participated in many international conferences related to the  political and humanitarian challenges developing by the war in Syria. It worked with UNHabitat and International Alert on projects enhancing local security in communities hosting refugees. The organization is also active in dealing with the issue of deportation many refugees in Lebanon face.

In June 2016, ALEF co-authored a human rights report entitled "Trapped in Lebanon: The alarming human rights and human security situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon" which warned that the underlying motive of the official policy towards Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is to deliberately increase their hardship so as to encourage their departure from the country.

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Last updated: August 2016