A government social security plan is intended to provide sickness and maternity insurance, accident and disability insurance, family allowances, and end-of-service indemnity payments. The employer contributes 8.5% of payroll, while the employee and government make no contribution. The system provides lump sum payments only for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Foreigners employed in Lebanon are entitled to benefits if similar rights are available for Lebanese in their home countries. Family allowances are provided for households with children and non-working wives. Voluntary social work societies also conduct relief and welfare activities.
Careers in government, the professions, and, less commonly, business are open to women. However, in some segments of society, social pressure prevents them from taking full advantage of employment opportunities. Lebanese citizenship is passed on only by fathers to their children. The children of Lebanese women married to foreigners are unable to secure citizenship. Many of the religious laws governing family and personal status discriminate against women. Despite these circumstances, there are a growing number of women in business and in government. Domestic abuse and violence affects a significant percentage of women.
Human rights abuses include arbitrary arrest and detention and the use of excessive force and torture. Prison conditions are substandard and include severe overcrowding. Palestinian groups operate within Lebanon in autonomous refugee camps. Human rights organizations are allowed to operate freely.