Struggling with the economic crisis, migrant domestic workers in Lebanon were either abandoned by their employers or they decided to walk away after being left unpaid for months.
Largely forgotten by international agencies, some survivors of Lebanon’s kafala system were flown home to Ethiopia last week.
Social media posts and tweets flooded the feeds of Lebanese with news that the Kafala system was on its first step to abolishment, but what is this ‘first step’ and what could happen next, realistically?
A new work contract in #Lebanon which allows migrant domestic workers to resign & keep hold of their own passport could be a step towards ending the kafala system. Activists say the exploitative system remains in place & labour law reform is needed
Most often it is women from Africa or Asia who came to Lebanon to be domestic workers or babysitters in private homes. There are nearly 200,000 and for years, NGOs have denounced the abuses of many employers: confiscated passports, miserable or non-existent wages, physical or moral violence, because some are housed in lamentable conditions, or do not have the right to go out. No day off, no paid vacation either.
Good news from Lebanon: new contract for migrant domestic workers is a step in the right direction toward protecting their rights and abolishing the abusive kafala system. And if it is accompanied by a stringent enforcement mechanism.
The plight of dozens of migrant workers stranded in Lebanon has finally come to an end when two flights took them, respectively on Thursday and on Friday. safely back to their home country.
BEIRUT: Fourty-eight stranded migrants in Lebanon returned to their countries of origin over the last two days, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.