About Us

Who We Are

 The Lebanese Institute for Democracy and Human Rights "LIFE” is a non-governmental, non-profit organization concerned with democratic development, defending human rights, and conflict resolution in societies that have suffered and are still suffering from wars and internal disputes.

LIFE was founded in 2006 by a group of Lebanese lawyers and academics. Since its inception, the Foundation has been working on raising the public awareness and paying special attention to the issues of marginalized groups. LIFE also followed the issue of prisons in Lebanon and was an active member in government committees concerned with the conditions of prisoners and prisons.

The Foundation defended the rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and demanded that full civil rights to be given to Palestinian residents on Lebanese territory, as well as calling for better humanitarian and legal conditions for them. Moreover, LIFE did the same with the Iraqi and Syrian refugees; as the Foundation addressed the violations, from which the Syrian refugees suffered, and opposed forced deportations.

LIFE also established the first human rights and legal "clinic” to provide free support to people who are subjected to violations and to those seek advice to avoid harm.

Initially, the Foundation is aware that its scope of work will be in a country ravaged by internal and factional conflicts, in which the ruling class had corrupted the country’s governmental and judicial institutions; as laws were being enacted for the interests of the powerful actors, not to meet the needs of the people and promote their interests. Therefore, "LIFE" organized seminars and conferences for civil society activists in order to raise awareness and push for reforming the Lebanese system at the political, constitutional, security and judicial levels.

As the Foundation's vision for reforming the security and judicial system is not limited to theoretical programs that may wait the parliament’s lengthy proceedings to be legislated, LIFE has organized workshops for Lebanese judges, lawyers and security officers, in order to promote human rights education in those institutions that witness massive and widespread violations of such rights.

LIFE also worked on training Lebanese media professionals to advocate for human rights issues and to use the alternative media and social networking sites to advocate for the rights of marginalized groups, to amplify the voice of the victims, avoid suppressing truths, and bypass the means of repression.

The beginning of 2009 was a turning point in the activity of the Foundation when it began its work abroad, as LIFE trained Arab lawyers to document violations of international criminal law, after the need arose among Arab and foreign activists to prosecute Israeli officials for their crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and highlighting the occupation, settlement and illegal arrests as persistent crimes against the Palestinians.

Of course, the situation of the citizens of most countries in the Middle East is no better in terms of freedoms and human rights than the Palestinians’. In this regard, republics governed by the intelligence agencies and are still under the emergency law witness massive violations of human rights, which necessitated a serious human rights renaissance that preceded the Arab Spring revolutions; so that, LIFE worked with local and international partners on monitoring and documenting all forms of violations.

Moreover, LIFE worked on training cadres and human rights activists in those countries, and participated in monitoring and documenting serious violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law in countries that have witnessed armed conflicts, especially in Syria, where the activity of LIFE expanded to include a wide team of Syrians, who are Human rights defenders and civil activists worked on establishing the local councils project for the civil administration in the areas that have been out of the control of the regime and the Syrian government forces. Training courses conducted by LIFE also included cadres and qualified persons who have been already working to present comprehensive reform projects for Syria.

Through its work that targets respect for human dignity first, LIFE was able to play the role of humanitarian mediator in a number of complex files. It also succeeded in releasing hostages and civilian detainees, including women and children, as part of exchange deals between the parties to the conflict in Syria.

Furthermore, LIFE believes that respect for human rights and dignity is a mandatory entry point for countries and societies that are looking forward to ensuring stability, development, and prosperity, while repressive regimes have produced nothing but backwardness, ignorance, lack of development, corruption, poverty, misery, immigration, forced displacement, terrorism, and chaos.

Life adheres to its mission of promoting and defending human dignity against any party or authority, and it cooperates with those who share such values and goals.

Share on:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter