Open the Doors
More than 24,700 children live in orphanages; this is more than 2% of Lebanese children. Around 90% of them are not orphans, but children from poor families unable to care for them.
There are no public orphanages in Lebanon but the Lebanese State contracts private institutions to implement this public service. These institutions are generally affiliated to religious authorities. As such, the current system forces families to admit their children to orphanages in order to receive State support for social relief and education, thereby separating children from their families and isolating them from society.
While the child’s best interest should be the priority, the Lebanese State doesn’t supervise the quality of the care and education that children receive in orphanages. Lebanon acknowledged in its 2016 report to the Committee on the Rights that its contractual relationship with these institutions “is not subject to systematic or scientific control based on specific and transparent criteria.”
Children reported they were subjected to malnutrition, violence and sexual abuse in orphanages and the media published several of these testimonies. One victim of rape filed a lawsuit against an orphanage and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Yet, no serious investigation has yet been conducted and no policy or mechanism for the supervision of orphanages has yet been developed.
This video advocates for state supervision on orphanages, particularly on the quality of the care given to children regarding their health, education and safety, pending a reevaluation of the current childcare policy in order to avoid separating children from their families due to poverty.
Animation & Production: Jessica Azar
Supervision: Ghida Frangieh