Non-governmental organization (NGO), Lebanon
MOSAIC is a holistic, gender-neutral and strategic program committed to improving the health and wellness of marginalized groups in Lebanon and beyond. They strive to create Mosaic communities, where individuals of different sexual orientations and gender identities/roles coexist, on the basis of understanding and mutual respect while introducing more inclusive approaches in the fight against homophobia.
Mosaic envisions a society where gender and sexual identities are respected in mosaic communities in which individuality is valued and fully embraced in inclusionary collective spaces, without unequal gendered socialization, and without fear and persecution.
Mosaic provides specialized and comprehensive services for marginalized groups, researches and advocates for policy reform, develops knowledge and capacities on SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity/Expressions, and Sex Characteristics) issues, and engages the societies in the fight against human rights violations, especially against LGBTQIA+ rights violations.
Goals / objectives
Violations & recommendations (demands) regarding LGBTQIA+ individuals living in Lebanon:
To abolish Article 534 from the Lebanese penal code which endangers the safety and protection of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups by subjecting them to physical, psychological, and economic harm. Penal code 534 criminalizes homosexuality in Lebanon making LGBTQIA+ individuals in the country subject to virginity and forced rectal exams in Lebanese police stations; arbitrary termination of work contracts on the basis of their LGBTQIA+ status; and enables threats of violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals in the country such hate speech, death threats or other homophobic actions. While Article 534 makes Lebanon’s LGBTQIA+ individuals vulnerable, the existence of such legislation makes the arrests and persecution of LGBTQIA+ peoples legitimate along with any the punishments that may come from their detention or prosecution.
On the legal level, LGBTQIA+ individuals are threatened by arrests, violations during arrests, bullying, and practices that violate their human rights and dignity such as the rectal exams which take place in many police stations.
On the psychological level, LGBTQIA+ individuals are always in a state of fear and anxiety. Moreover, they face isolation and marginalization in society; this prevents their full inclusion in the Lebanese right to participate at all levels in political, intellectual, cultural, and social society.
B- Our demands
- Abolish illegal and illegitimate investigations.
- Ban general security offices from executing such investigations since it is not within their mandate. Furthermore, general security investigations are conducted without prior indication from the public prosecutor. (In some cases, investigations were initiated without any evidence).
- Refrain from collective punishments on the expenses of individual rights.
- Abolish all groups and individual arrest decisions that take place prior to witnessing the “crime”.
- Document all testimonies.
- Refrain from arresting individuals or groups without evidence.
Main programs / services
Mental health services
Through its national presence, Mosaic provides sensitive mental health services for LGBTQIA+ persons in Lebanon. These services are available for, but are not limited to, all individuals striving to define and accept their sexual orientations and LGBTQIA+ individuals facing hardship due to their gender identities or for any other reason.
Protection and legal aid
Mosaic works to protect and ensure the rights of LGBTIQ persons on local, national, and regional levels, including police stations, detention centers, workplaces, etc. As Penal code 534 criminalizes homosexuality in Lebanon, LGBTQIA+ individuals are subject to virginity and forced rectal exams in Lebanese police stations, arbitrary termination of work contracts on the basis of their LGBTQIA+ status, hate speech and death threats among other homophobic actions. Mosaic calls for urgent interventions to restore LGBTQIA+ rights through policy reform and legal aid for persons in similar situations.
Our services mainly target low-income LGBTQIA+, including LGBTQIA+ persons in detention, migrants, and refugees, among other vulnerable groups. Cases of severe marginalization and/or life-threatening situations that cannot be handled locally due to legal policies in Lebanon are followed up by our senior social workers and referred to UNHCR offices in Lebanon in order to ensure proper protection and wellbeing.
Mosaic works to establish a sustainable support system for LGBTQIA+ persons, through round-the-clock helpline and trained social workers who help members of the community better deal with issues such as rejection at home, discrimination at the workplace, segregation in society, among other difficulties commonly faced by LGBTIQ persons.
In addition, MOSAIC helps families with LGBTQIA+ members to understand and respect the sexual orientations and gender identities of their relatives.
MOSAIC conducts Drama and Art Therapy sessions by qualified specialists to provide psychological consultation and support for LGBTIQ survivors or those at risk of violence.
In addition, Mosaic works with qualified teachers in life skills training to provide tailored sessions for LGBTQIA+ survivors of or those most at risk of violence.