It is violation of economic, social and cultural rights when the State fails in its obligation to guarantee the enjoyment of these rights without discrimination or in its obligation to respect, protect and fulfill these rights.
A few examples of violations of economic, social and cultural rights include:
• Polluting water, for example, with waste from State-owned enterprises (right to health (: The Litani River is the most prominent title in Lebanon’s environmental pollution file. This river, which cuts the country from its north to its south and overlooks hundreds of towns, villages and farmland, has reportedly become a “dump for effluents” released by factories and informal sewage systems which Contributed to the high rates of diseases in the towns where the river passes.
• Failure to guarantee a minimum wage sufficient for a decent life (work-related rights): the looting policies pursued by successive governments led to currency’s collapse and the decrease of the purchasing power of citizens.
• Failure to prevent hunger in all regions and communities of the country (freedom from hunger): The economic plight has exacerbated poverty and disproportionately affected marginalized groups, including low-income families and individuals with disabilities, and the Government has not developed any appropriate, robust and coordinated assistance plan.
• Systematically isolating children with disabilities from mainstream schools (Right to education): neglect of formal education by the authorities, leading people to focus on private education. After the economic crisis and the bank robbery, people are unable to educate their children even in formal schools. There programs targeting children with disabilities are very limited.
• Failure to prevent employers from discriminating in employment (on grounds of sex, disability, race, political opinion, social origin, HIV status, etc.) (Right to work): For decades, the authorities have marginalized the Civil Service Board, tasked for conducting the recruitment process and competencies ‘selection. Therefore authority appointed people affiliated with governing parties, especially in sensitive facilities, to control the State’s joints.
• Failure to prevent public and private entities from destroying or polluting food and food sources, such as arable land and water (Right to food): The contamination of Litani water and the Lake of Qurawn which irrigate the major crops in Bekaa has affected the consumers health as per several reports linking the increase of cancer rate with food contaminated by the irrigated polluted water.
• Prohibition of denial of access to social assistance because of their situation: There is no elderly care system in Lebanon and the authorities governing Lebanon over decades did nothing to solve the problem.
Corruption in Lebanon has added value because, in a country in the world, the Government has not violated its own people, as the regime in Lebanon has done.
Theft of public money by the political class
There are reports that some 52 billion dollars have been looted from the state treasury, and nobody knows how it was spent or where it dissipated. Crime audit is now required to follow the course of these looted funds. However, the political class that has systematically looted the State Treasury for 30 years does not want this crime audit to take place; they therefore manipulate the dollar and the fate of the people to cover up their corruption. The looting extended to public resources, reaping the lives of the Lebanese, and there is no accused person. The banking cartel and its political extensions turned into a gang that looted deposits of the people. While the “corruption system” returned Lebanon to the famine of 1914, the state declared bankruptcy on the day it stopped paying Eurobonds, and the robbery of public money began in exchange for the biggest deception called “fixing the exchange rate.”
There’s more than one factor behind the economic crisis in Lebanon. “the economic policies established by the ruling system since the 1990s, when a rent-based monetary policy was established that gave room for services at the expense of the productive economy. This policy was expected to reach a stage where the Lebanese people and their institutions would be bankrupt, because the economy could not be based on rent without actual production.”
The corruption of the political class in Lebanon led to tampering with the fate and interests of the Lebanese.
Crisis effect on Lebanese
Extortion and bribery spread, which included deals and projects, to the administrative levels, until bribery became a sign of affiliation with the Military Academy. Corruption included the private sector, so banks seized about 120 billion dollars of deposits that had evaporated and a cartel of fuel, medicine and flour controlled people, and “smuggling” became well protected.
Lebanon is experiencing very difficult days, in which the people are groaning under the weight of the worst economic crisis in its history, as many of the services provided to citizens have disappeared, including electricity, water and gasoline, in addition to the collapse of the national currency and its loss of more than 85 percent of its value, which portends a comprehensive collapse. The price of goods has increased insanely with the collapse of citizens’ purchasing power. The occasional closure of banks to customers, and the tightening of restrictions on foreign exchange withdrawals have further exacerbated the crisis and affected the lives of citizens.
In vain, the Government tried to contain the situation through various measures, such as supporting consumer goods and prosecuting currency traffickers. But the deterioration of the lira has been a severe blow to efforts. The run-out of the Central Bank’s dollar reserves, mainly used to support imports of wheat, fuels and medicines, has left the State unable to provide the most basic services. The crisis of fuels has continued heatedly, as the country has become a long “queue” of cars, amidst near-disruption of fuel and diesel.
There must be an international pressure on the political authority to carry out reforms and approve the Crime Audit. The Lebanese government must also pay attention to the recommendations of the international community, and exert a much greater effort to implement, respect and protect human rights, so as to put an end to the impunity behind the massive decline in basic economic, social, and civil rights.