The Circular No 38 included in its statements: “A large number of officials continue to include this phrase in personal status records, which leads to discrimination and the publicizing of personal information without legal justification among citizens.”
Mr. Khoury called in this circular for officials to be careful when organizing registration data, taking into consideration the dignity of the citizen and the privacy of his / her restrictions. He insisted that they do not include any non-required observations, except when it comes to responding to requests issued by the judicial and security authorities.
Previously, in January 2018, Mr. Khoury published a similar official circular for the exclusion of the term “illegitimate child” from all official records, including identity cards and family documents.
The call of the Director General of Personal Status was successfully applied in Beirut. It hasn’t been the case in other regions where the term is still used in family documents. Hence, the new circular Mr. Khoury issued recently.
It is worth mentioning that “Illegitimate Child” as an ‘official’ term is a heavy burden for whoever holds it. Adding to the cultural and societal stigma one has to carry all his/her life, it legally declares him/her unsuitable for inheritance.
While the act of consciousness of our Director-General of Personal Status is highly commendable and deemed official, it remains that registrations of personal status in Lebanon are ruled -not by one strong civil code but- by the religious laws of the denomination the person is born into.
We count over a dozen in Lebanon, which would be a challenge to break through in progressing towards a kinder and more humane stance towards those who are forced to “carry the sins of their fathers”.