the work of foreigners in Lebanon, including Palestinians living in Lebanese
laws, no decrees are made, interpretations are varied and subject to high discretion
bulletin describes the most important laws and decrees governing foreign labor
in general and Palestinian labor in particular. It can be said that there are
no clear and decisive laws and there are no practical decrees in this regard
which are subject to multiple interpretations and do not carry in their content
justice for the Palestinian worker, and it’s not comprehensive, it need to be
increased in some to include liberal professions and others need substantial
Did the Labor Law of 1946 include Palestinian refugees?
first labor law was issued in Lebanon on September 23, 1946, which regulated
the legal status of the employer, workers and employees in Lebanon, and at that
time the Palestinian refugees did not emigrate to Lebanon due to the Nakba.
the sections of this law concerns foreign workers who have been identified as
newcomer workers and who must obtain prior approval to work in Lebanon through
Lebanese embassies and consulates abroad and in contact with employers.
regard to the Palestinian refugees and their working forces, they cannot be
categorized as newcomer workers or foreigners in the technical sense and under
the previous conditions stipulated in the law, considering that Palestinian
workers arrived in Lebanon forcibly because of the 1948 Nakba(catastrophy) and
not within the labor mechanisms which require obtaining prior approval for work
and coming from abroad In particular.
What is Legislative Decree 17561, which regulates the work of foreigners and
the extent of its legal strength?
Legislative Decree: The law is passed by the People's Assembly. The Legislative
Decree is issued by the President of the Republic in special cases of urgency
when the People's Assembly is outside its regular session. It is similar to the
law, It can amend the laws, and the laws can also amend legislative decrees.
No. 17561 - issued on 18/9/1964 was clear by the definition of foreign labor in
Article 2 through the following text:
foreigner wishing to enter Lebanon to engage in a profession or work, with or
without remuneration, must obtain the prior approval of the Ministry of Labor
and Social Affairs before coming to it, unless he is an artist who obtains this
approval from the Directorate of Public Security."
Palestinian is originally residing in Lebanon for reasons beyond his control.
How can the above decree be applied, and what if he violates the working
conditions and withdraws his work permit? Where will he be deported?
mechanism that is generally recognized annually that the Lebanese Minister of
Labor issues a resolution specifying the work confined to the Lebanese alone,
in addition to works in the liberal professions such as engineering, medicine,
law, pharmacy and professions organized by syndicate, Foreigners have the right
to practice the remaining occupations, sometimes ranging from 40 to 45
occupations, including agriculture, construction and other occupations.
the Lebanese Minister of Labor, Trad Hemada, and within the powers granted by
Decree No. 17561 of 1964, issued Memorandum No. 1/67 in June 2005, which
allowed Palestinian professionals to work in manual and office professions
confined to Lebanese which was previously forbidden to Palestinians, under
certain conditions, most notably being Palestinians born on Lebanese territory
and being registered in the records of the Directorate of Political Affairs and
Refugees of the Ministry of the Interior and that after receiving work permit
the professions organized in the unions (medicine, engineering, pharmacy and
law), they are completely forbidden to Palestinian refugees because the law
governing these professions requires reciprocity and the employee must be
Did the law in 2010 regulate Palestinian labor?
after a series of popular moves and with the support of the Democratic
Gathering bloc headed by MP Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Parliament issued
legislation that carried Law No. 129 dated 24/8/2010, which amended Article 59
of the Labor Law, which exempted Palestinians from the requirement of
reciprocity and required a free working permit from the ministry of labor.
as Law No. 128 dated 24/8/2010, which amended Article 9 of the Social Security
Law and exempted Palestinians from the requirement of reciprocity to benefit
from social security contributions, and exempted them from the contributions of
sickness and maternity funds and family allowances. The mechanisms applied
became as follows:
of the reciprocity
separate the administration of the National Social Security Fund into a
separate account for the contributions of Palestinian refugee workers, provided
that the Treasury or the National Social Security Fund do not bear any
financial obligation towards it
from end of service indemnities and work emergencies.
from Sub-Subventions of sickness, maternity and family allowances.
for benefiting from social security were as follows:
retaining the provisions governing the application of the Social Security Act,
The Palestinian Refugee Fund working in the Lebanese territories is subject to
the following conditions:
be a resident of Lebanon.
registered in the Directorate of Political Affairs and Refugees - Ministry of
Interior and Municipalities.
associated with one or more employers.
a work permit in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations
problem with this procedure is that the Palestinian refugee will be deducted
from his income about 23.5% in favor of social security and benefit in only 8%
which is the end of service benefits.
23.5% that must paid distributed as follows:
illness and maternity (7% of the employer, 2% of the wage earner)
Family compensation (from employer)
end of service (from employer)
for the management of the fund (from the employer).
fact made the Palestinian worker not seek for work permit due to these
deductions, which will not benefit from it. Moreover, the conditions for
obtaining a work permit require a work contract between the employer and the
worker in order to obtain work permit from the Ministry of Labor, and many
employers refuse to employ or employ Palestinian labor on contracts that commit
them in the end-of-service benefits and social security deductions, Therefore,
Palestinian labor is exploited in this regard.Also the procedures for obtaining work permit are also complex to the
point of impossibility.
the Lebanese-Palestinian vision issued by the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue
Committee, it recommends an amendment regarding the use of social security
revenues and the deduction of only 8% of the income of the Palestinian worker,
which is the benefit under the heading "end of service benefits"
only. And the vision called to facilitate the procedures for obtaining work
leave without complications
The Palestinians are again foreigners according to the plan of Minister Kamil
Abu Suleiman to regulate the employment of foreigners
inspectors of the Ministry of Labor in the Lebanese territories statred on
Thursday, 11/7/2019, in the context of imposing the application of the Labor
Law and ensuring that foreign workers have work permits, including the
Palestinian, and that After the period
declared by the Minister of Labor Kamil Abu Sulaiman during the launch of the
plan to fight illegal foreign labor, and lasted a month in front of companies
and institutions to settle their status and get work permits for illegal
Ministry has imposed the following conditions on Palestinian employers:
a work permit of 480,000 LL
of 100,000,000. L.L in the bank
to hire Lebanese (one Palestinian for every 3 Lebanese)
is no fixed system of laws regulating the employment of Palestinian refugees in
refugees in Lebanon cannot be considered foreigners for objective and practical
consider the Palestinian as a foreigner who must obtain a work permit
complicate the situation and not regulating it.
Palestinian refugee in Lebanon is prohibited from practicing the liberal
professions, especially medicine, engineering and pharmacy. All the amendments
that have occurred have not addressed this category of professions.
legal amendments of 2010
6.Concerning the work and social security were
not fair and did not have applicable decrees that take into account the rights
of Palestinian workers, in which there is clear arbitrariness.
plan of the Minister of Labor, Abu Suleiman, regarding the Palestinian refugees
was not based on clear laws or implementing decrees. it considered Palestinian
refugees as foreigners and imposed on them the need to obtain work permits
First: Not to consider the Palestinian refugee a
foreigner who must obtain work permit.
Second: Amend the applicable decrees on work and
social security so that the deductions from the pensions of Palestinian workers
are returned to them later as the ratio is quite
Third: Allow Palestinian professionals, doctors,
lawyers, pharmacists, and others to work in this profession and amend the laws
Association for Human Right (witness)