New Standard Unified Contract does not abolish Kafala in Lebanon

Lebanon’s Minister of Labour recently announced the new Standard Unified Contract for migrant domestic workers. The contract, developed by a Lebanese Steering Committee in cooperation with the Office of High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), is now set in place to protect the human rights of migrant domestic workers.

Migrant workers have long suffered human rights violations under Lebanon’s Kafala system, which leaves them vulnerable to abuse by tying the residency of domestic workers to the sponsorship of a Lebanese citizen.

Activist groups have used the term “modern slavery” to describe the type of contract that binds foreign workers in Lebanon and grants their sponsors full authority and power over them.

Lamia Yammine, the minister of Labour, went as far as to say that the new contract “abolishes the sponsorship system and enshrines the rights of migrant domestic workers.”

English | September 8, 2020



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