On 4 March, 2018 Emelda contacted our page asking for help for her and her colleague, Cecilia. They were both owed approximately $5,000 each in unpaid salaries. When I asked her if she’d contacted the embassy, she replied, “yes maam the polo (branch of embassy) said we should run away but we are scared to run away maam what will we do?” In May, they gave up hope of ever receiving their salaries and abandoned their employment. On their behalf, we contacted their employers, Abdallah and Maha Rafi, asking them to pay their salaries and advising that if they didn’t pay, Cecilia and Emelda would have no option but to expose them on Facebook. Abdallah replied,
“Regarding the maids that escaped this morning! Please be informed of the following: Let them come before 2 pm, or else the case will be with the general security & public prosecutor, and will never travel to their country by Government decision ” legal action has been taken against them . Don’t blackmail, it’s crime by law and they will be charged for that.”
Because they did not receive their salaries and were afraid of what Abdallah and Maha could do to them, they left immediately for the Philippines embassy. At the end of October, 2018 they left for the Philippines after spending about 5 months in the embassy safe house and 2 weeks in the Caritas safe house. They traveled without receiving any of the money they were owed. Pro-bono human rights lawyers have taken their case and it will go to court. Will Emelda and Cecilia receive justice in the Lebanese judicial system? Watch this space.