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Bertho Makso

Bertho Makso

HRD, Co-founder
Proud Lebanon

Bertho Makso is a human rights defender, co-founder and executive director of Proud Lebanon, an organisation that was created in 2014 to provide support for the LGBT+ community. When it was first created, the organisation focused on refugee then it soon spread its human rights work to the whole LGBT+ community in Lebanon. Proud Lebanon also works for the marginalised and vulnerable, including prisoners. The organisation works with over 13 political parties in order to pressure lawmakers to change laws that penalise LGBT+ people in Lebanon. Additionally, it works on achieving change in society, including by leading several campaigns with influencers.


While Lebanon is one of the few countries in the Middle East and North Africa region where human rights defenders (HRDs) and international human rights NGOs have been able to operate, challenges persists in relation to freedom of association, assembly and expression. Moreover, the continuing civil conflict in Syria has fuelled sectarian polarisation in Lebanon and furthered the armed activities of Shi'i and Sunni militias. This situation has resulted in increasing security threats to HRDs, particularly those who document human rights abuses committed by non-state actors or the warring parties in Syria.