Access To Justice For Syrian Refugee Women In Lebanon – UN Women

October 24, 2020


The Government of Japan and UN Women recognized the pressing need to address the pervasive issue of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) among Syrian refugee women in Lebanon. To undertake this critical task, they commissioned a comprehensive study to assess the access to justice mechanisms available to survivors of SGBV within this vulnerable population. The study was conducted by Triangle, a renowned consultancy organization specializing in research within humanitarian and crisis contexts. With a backdrop of ongoing conflict and the global COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon faced the immense challenge of hosting the highest number of refugees per capita worldwide, exacerbating the already precarious legal and social protection environment for Syrian refugees, especially women.

Triangle’s Assessment:


  • Project Initiation and Commissioning: The research project on Syrian refugee women’s access to justice for survivors of SGBV was commissioned by the Government of Japan and UN Women. The project aimed to conduct an in-depth analytical study of access to justice mechanisms for Syrian refugee women in Lebanon who experienced SGBV.
  • Context Analysis: The study recognized the challenging context in Lebanon, with the Syrian refugee crisis and the added complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlighted the fragile humanitarian and economic situation in Lebanon, as well as the increased vulnerability of refugees, particularly Syrian women, to SGBV during this time.
  • Barriers to Accessing Formal Justice: The study identified multiple barriers preventing Syrian refugee women from accessing formal justice mechanisms. These included legal status issues, fear of repercussions, economic vulnerabilities, and lack of awareness of legal entitlements and justice pathways.
  • Barriers to Accessing Informal Justice: Syrian refugee women tended to initially utilize informal justice mechanisms, especially in cases of familial violence. However, these informal mechanisms were male-dominated, unaccountable to legal standards, and often failed to deliver satisfactory outcomes for survivors.
  • Formal Justice System Challenges: The study highlighted challenges within Lebanon’s formal justice system, including the limited number of well-trained legal professionals, lack of female representation, and inconsistent handling of SGBV cases by law enforcement.
  • Recommendations for Improvement: The research report included a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at addressing the identified barriers and improving access to justice for Syrian refugee women. These recommendations covered legislative and policy reforms, capacity building, awareness campaigns, support services, economic empowerment, and strategies to challenge patriarchal norms.
  • International and Local Collaboration: The study was conducted in collaboration with several organizations, including KAFA, ABAAD, Justice Without Frontiers (JWF), Helem, and Legal Action Worldwide (LAW). This collaborative effort aimed to maximize the impact of the research findings.
  • Monitoring and Accountability: The report emphasized the importance of monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure that the recommended changes are effectively implemented and that justice becomes more accessible for all survivors of SGBV in Lebanon, including Syrian refugee women.

Analytical Study of Access to Justice Mechanisms for SGBV Cases of Syrian Refugee Women and At-risk Populations in Lebanon – UN Women


October 2020 – March 2021

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