Help end forced marriage in Lebanon and save innocent girls

Help End Forced Marriage in Lebanon

Make your voice heard

Share this petition

Momentum is growing to repeal laws that enable convicted rapists to marry their victims to avoid punishment. As well as the horrors endured by victims, this law means many women and girls where these laws exist are then forced into marriage against their will.

Latifa Basma Mohamad was 19 years old when she was forced to marry the middle-aged man who raped her. “My sister didn’t like the deal, but I assured her, it will be temporary,” her brother said.1

On August 1, 2017, following a heated debate, the Parliament of Jordan repealed a law that states that if a valid marriage contract is held between the rapist and his victim and the marriage lasts for more than three years, the charges will be dropped.2

Pressure for change is mounting in neighboring Lebanon where a parliamentary vote on abolishing similar laws is anticipated soon. Our partner, women’s rights group KAFA Lebanon and also Abaad, are highlighting the archaic practice of ‘marry your rapist’ laws, including by hanging torn and bloodied wedding dresses along the seaside promenade in Beirut, Lebanon.3 In Jordan, a committee of MPs recommended a similar law should simply be amended; however, 63 organizations came together and campaigned to abolish it in its entirety. Bjoining together with one powerful voice, civil society succeeded in persuading the government that the only option was to repeal the law.

Let’s achieve the same in Lebanon, where ‘marry your rapist’ legislation contained in the Penal Code encourages the modern slavery practice of forced marriage and forced child marriage.

Whilst there is a wave of momentum building, let’s help repeal these laws that remain in countries as diverse as the Philippines to Tajikistan, but with our effort, not for much longer in Lebanon.4

Video credit: KAFA 

هنالك مطالبات متنامية لإلغاء القوانين التي تمكن المغتصبين المُدانين الزواج من ضحاياهم لتجنب العقاب. وبالإضافة إلى الأهوال التي يعاني منها الضحايا، فإن هذا القانون يعني أن العديد من النساء والفتيات في البلاد التي ما زالت تعترف بهذه القوانين يجبرن على الزواج ضد إرادتهن من مغتصبهن.

كانت لطيفة بسمة محمد تبلغ من العمر 19 عاما عندما أجبرت على الزواج من رجل في منتصف العمر –مُغتصبها-. و عقّب شقيقها قائلاً: “لم تكن أختي تحب الصفقة، لكني أكدت لها أنها ستكون مؤقتة”

وفي 1 أغسطس / آب، وبعد مناقشة قوية ألغى البرلمان الأردني قانوناً ينص على أنه إذا تم عقد زواج ساري المفعول بين المغتصب وضحيته، واستمر الزواج لأكثر من ثلاث سنوات سيتم إسقاط التهم عن المغتصب.

وتزداد الضغوط من اجل التغيير فى لبنان المجاور حيث يتوقع اجراء تصويت برلمانى على الغاء القوانين المماثلة قريبا. إن شريكنا مجموعة حقوق المرأة كفا لبنان وكذلك أبعاد، يسلطون الضوء على الممارسة القديمة لقوانين “الزواج من المغتصب” بما في ذلك تعليق فساتين الزفاف الممزقة والدموية على طول الكورنيش في بيروت، لبنان.

 في الأردن قام عدد من النواب بالتوصية لتعديل قانون مماثل ولكن اجتماع 63 منظمة وحّدوا صوتهم من خلال تنظيم حملة تطالب بإلغاء القانون لا تعديله ، نجح المجتمع المدني في إقناع الحكومة بأن الخيار الوحيد هو إلغاء القانون وهذا ما حصل.

دعونا نحقق نفس الانجاز في لبنان، حيث يشجع قانون “زواج المغتصب” الوارد في قانون العقوبات ممارسة العبودية الحديثة للزواج القسري والزواج القسري للأطفال.

في حين أن هناك موجة من الجهود البنّاءة، دعونا نساعد على إلغاء هذه القوانين التي لا تزال موجودة حتى في بلدان متنوعة مثل الفلبين و طاجيكستان، ولكن مع جهودنا لن تبقى في لبنان أكثر من ذلك.

  • COVID-19 Update: We are concerned that the number of girls forced into marriage will increase as financial hardship progressively worsens for families, putting young girls already at risk of exploitation in an even more vulnerable position. The recent spike in domestic violence as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns may also put young girls in forced marriages at risk of enduring heightened levels of abuse. Your action is needed.

  • February 2020: As of this month, the amendments to Articles 505 and 519 are yet to be adopted and Article 518 remains law. Let’s keep the pressure on to ensure that women in Lebanon are safe from forced marriage once and for all.

  • December 19, 2018: The attempted suicide of a 16-year-old girl who was forced into marriage at the age of 14 has put the spotlight on lawmakers in Lebanon to pass legislation to end forced child marriage. Read more on the story here.

  • August 16,  2017: Lebanon’s parliament has taken an important step in abolishing a criminal code provision that allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims. However we need to continue to push for all these laws to be repealed to help end forced marriage. Click here to read why repealing Article 518 and amending Articles 505 and 519 is so important.

  • Aug 04, 2017: Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lucia Mayo
6 years ago

Marrying your rapist should not happen anywhere. Please support campaign to change the law in Lebanon.

Donna Morris
Donna Morris
6 years ago

Please help stop this unbelievably cruel practice of rape victims being forced to marry their attacker, prolonging their pain and humiliation. What sort of insane government would allow such a law that protects the rapist and punishes the innocent victim.

James Dunn
James Dunn
6 years ago

The issue is so large and universal that I would like to see a special UN session on the rights and roles of women. James Dunn a former UN designated expert on crimes against humanity.

6 years ago

This is 2017 21st Century not 1517 medieval era

6 years ago

Marry your rapist?? I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a year ago. I can’t think of a worse punishment for the victim than to have to live with that and experience it time and time again.

Tell Lebanon’s Parliament to repeal 'marry your rapist' laws


Help us reach 75,000

Dear Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, Mr Nabih Berri,

Articles of the Penal Code that enable a rapist to marry their victim and escape penalty, must be repealed. These provisions result in secondary victimization as women and girls are then forced into marriage, a form of modern slavery.

In light of the recent decision in the Parliament of Jordan to bring down a similar law, and the growing momentum to ensure women’s rights are respected and modern slavery is abolished, I encourage you to call for full Parliamentary support to repeal these Articles, including 505, 518 and 522 in their entirety, so that women and girls are protected from forced marriage.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]

عزيزي رئيس مجلس النواب اللبناني،

 السيد نبيه بري،

إن مواد قانون العقوبات التي تسمح للمغتصب بالزواج من ضحيته و بالتالي هروبه من العقاب هي أحكام تُلحق أذىً عظيماً بالنساء والفتيات –الضحايا- عندماتجبرهم على الزواج من مغتصبهم، وهو شكل من أشكال العبودية الحديثة و علينا العمل معاً على إلغاء هذه المواد.

وفي ضوء القرار الأخير الذي اتخذه البرلمان الأردني بإلغاء قانون مماثل، والزخم المتنامي لضمان احترام حقوق المرأة وإلغاء العبودية الحديثة بكافة اشكالها، أشجعكم على المطالبة بالدعم البرلماني الكامل لإلغاء هذه المواد، بما في ذلك 505 و 518 و 522 في مجملها، بحيث نحمي النساء والفتيات من الزواج القسري.

تفضلوا بقبول فائق الاحترام،

Freedom United will protect your privacy while updating you on campaigns, news and stories about modern slavery.

Latest activity
  • Latest activity
    Eugenia L.
  • Latest activity
    Jessica C.
  • Latest activity
    ali j.
Campaign partners