The AFKAR II project titled “Supporting the Lebanese civil society for the respect of political and civil rights” is a developed version of AFKAR I, that has particularly shed light on the legal aspect of major issues. The project aimed to elaborate new laws and implement laws that are not enforced. Relevant initiatives targeted various categories: youth, women, children, students, drug addicts, persons with disabilities, journalists, prisoners, legal experts and others.
Through a European donation of three million euros, AFKAR program was able in its second phase to fund 24 projects in two areas: the reinforcement of the rule of law and respect of human political, civil and socio-economic rights on one hand, and the establishment of a dialogue among the Lebanese youth to promote tolerance and democracy on another hand.
The program reached great achievements and managed to benefit from lessons learned. It contributed to the elaboration of new laws (the adopted domestic violence law, the mental health law passed by the Cabinet and currently under discussion at Parliament), and to the issuance of implementation decrees for other laws (law on persons with disabilities). It also conducted advocacy and awareness raising activities related to the actual implementation of other laws (law on drug addicts).
Initiatives on the right to life were launched as well to build a blood donation database, eliminate the death penalty and work towards a humane treatment of prisoners. The concept of citizenship was promoted at the educational level inasmuch as the image of women in textbooks was revisited and new materials on environmental issues were adopted in public schools.
Media initiatives focused on the production of a media code of honor and the establishment of an impartial and independent media council, in addition to seeking to hold a sustainable dialogue among youth from different religions through training on modern journalistic writing techniques.
In parallel with the support brought to the projects and the working organizations, AFKAR Program conducted in its second phase 8 training workshops on European procedures and the Lebanese law, monitoring and evaluation, capitalization, proposal writing, team and time management, volunteer work at CSOs, working with children, post trauma therapy, etc.
Eight round tables were also held to support civil society, emphasizing mainly on gender-based discrimination in the Lebanese laws, dialogue among youth following acts of violence, management of volunteers in NGOs, the role of media outlets in supporting the causes of civil society, the legal aspect of drug use.