Lebanon Cancels and Shuts Some Domestic Worker Recruitment Agencies
For the past week, my FB newsfeed has been flooding with disturbing news about war, child labor and pornography and other disturbing videos. I finally came across a Daily Star post that will finally change the future of my country, Lebanon, to the better. Mind you, that rarely happens. On November 29th, 2016 Lebanon’s Labor Ministry announced the suspension of 23 agencies due labor malpractices and license cancellations for almost 171.
For as long as I can remember, thousands of domestic workers have committed suicide or have been victims of physical or/and sexual abuse. The worst part is that justice is/was never served and these stories go unnoticed. Modern day slavery has been a ‘thing’ in Lebanon for so long that authorities have made it the least of their concerns.
The problem is not the agencies themselves, rather it’s the lack of LAWS that protect these workers! I’ve had the chance to live with sisters from Ethiopia, Nepal, Philippines, and Madagascar under the same roof. My parents were both entrepreneurs, too busy for house chores and we were young and needed someone to keep an eye on. There’s nothing wrong with that, people worldwide hire nannies and/or cooks. The problems is that these workers sign up for this job thinking that this is what will be required of them to do and next thing they know is that their passport is taken away from them and they are basically imprisoned in the house they ‘work’ in.
- Being told to sit in the trunk
- Being told to sit on a different table at a restaurant
- Being told you’re not allowed to eat from the same plate or fork, although you live under the same roof
- Being physically and sexually abused and have no one to turn to
- Being away from your friends and family
- Having no source of communication
- Working 24/7
Do you see how blessed you are? Do you see how many victims are still suffering in Lebanon? #foodforthought