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Draft law in Lebanon allows women to grant citizenship to their children

March 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Beirut, Lebanon on 19 December 2017 [Furkan Güldemir/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil announced yesterday that a draft law will be submitted to the parliament granting Lebanese women married to foreigners the right to pass their citizenship on to their children, except those married to Palestinians or Syrians.

The minister made the announcement during a press conference held in Beirut on Mother’s Day.

“The draft law aims to achieve equality between Lebanese women and men, based on the Constitution, international agreements and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” said Bassil.

According to the minister the constitution prohibits naturalisation, and therefore the Lebanese state is committed to the right of return for Palestinians and to return displaced Syrians to their country.

Lebanon: Mothers protest, call for right to pass citizenship to children

Nadra Daaboul, a member of the My Nationality campaign which advocates for a law enabling women to pass on their citizenship to their family said nearly 70,000 Lebanese women are married to foreigners and more than 100,000 of their children who are waiting for Lebanese citizenship.

Lebanon has about 980,000 Syrian refugees, as well as more than half a million Palestinian refugees registered with Lebanese Interior Ministry.

The children of Lebanese women who are married to foreigners cannot work in Lebanon or receive social security benefits. They also have to renew their residency permits every three years.

On Friday hundreds of Lebanese women married to foreigners gathered outside the government headquarters in central Beirut to demand their right to pass their citizenship to their children.