10.6.5. Diversity and equality committee, office and/or officer (or the equivalent).

Lebanese University promotes the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or another status.

Principally, the core values of the Lebanese University, as a public free access institution, include equality of all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, disability or gender. According to the above, the Lebanese University have built some campuses and implemented many branches of its faculty on all the Lebanese territory, in order to reduce inequalities and to give equal chances to all students resident in Lebanon to access to the higher education. So even the students with modest financial capabilities could pursue their higher studies. Moreover, the Lebanese University put a plan to build more campuses in new areas in order to give more chance to all students willing to continue their studies, knowing that the number of enrolled students at the Lebanese University is increasing gradually, and knowing that the Syrian refugee crisis that affected Lebanon, requires more premises and more campuses covering the higher educational needs.

The Lebanese University is committed to equality of opportunity, the pursuit of diversity amongst its staff and student population and a supportive environment for all members of our community. It expects that all staff and students alike will contribute to and actively support the university in working towards the elimination of discrimination and harassment and the promotion of equality of opportunity in terms of access to the university’s services, employment opportunities, and support for students in their welfare and education.

Equality and Diversity Committee

The university has a formal structure for raising equality and diversity matters through the Equality and Diversity Committee which is the university’s principal vehicle for consultation on equality and diversity matters with responsibility for ensuring that corporate equality objectives are set and met.

Monitor and Evaluate

To monitor and evaluate how we are delivering on equality and diversity the university collects data providing statistical analysis on our staff and student profiles and analysis of our staff and student surveys. We collect this not only to monitor but to actively seek ways in which we can improve as a university.

EU organises debate with Lebanese University students to mark Human Rights Day

On the occasion of Human Rights Day on 10 December, the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon and the Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in Zahle organized a debate on the topic of "The role of civil society organizations in ensuring good governance and in promoting human rights in Lebanon". The debate gave students an opportunity to discuss the role that the Lebanese civil society plays in promoting freedom of expression and in ensuring that citizens can fully exercise their right to choose their representatives. It also touched upon the role of youth in the democratic process.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Lassen congratulated Lebanon for all the work it has devoted to human rights. She said: "We would like to encourage Lebanon to take further steps in improving respect for human rights. Abolition of Article 522 of the Penal Code, which exempts the perpetrator of rape from punishment in case he marries the victim, will definitely be a step forward. We welcome the decision of the Parliament's Administration and Justice Committee that agreed to abolish the article. We hope that Parliament will soon ratify this important decision. Lebanon has made noticeable progress and should not take any steps back." Ambassador Lassen also reminded that "protecting human rights is not only a responsibility of governments. It is also about us: individuals and society not reacting, looking the other way when we witness human rights violations. This is why the EU joins the UN in calling upon people to stand for someone's rights. Each of us has a responsibility to stand up for human rights. We can draw inspiration from human rights defenders and civil society organizations protecting those whose voice is not heard'.

Human rights are key founding values of the European Union and the guiding principles in the relations with all partner countries across the world, including in Lebanon. For this reason, the EU supports Lebanese state institutions to develop and implement human rights policies and reforms. The EU has also been supporting civil society organizations in advocating for the respect of human rights in Lebanon.

In addition, four or five years ago, Lebanese universities had adopted a decision on including human rights in the curricula in all sectors and faculties of academic training and universities.