Kenyan Migrant Workers Are Stranded In Lebanon

@lynnsm7 | Andre Mahfouz

It is the third week after the catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut. As the city is slowly recovering, dozens of Kenyan workers have found themselves without homes, jobs, and lacking the funds to fly back home.

“One would think after the humanitarian catastrophe that hit Lebanon with the Beirut Port explosion, some people would act and be more humble and kind to one another. But no,” wrote human rights organization, Rights or Riots, on Instagram.

Rights or Riots proceeded to post the video below, showing Lebanese woman “dropping off” her Kenyan houseworker, Veronica, abandoning her at the Kenyan consulate in Beirut.

The Lebanese woman apparently “threw [Veronica’s] belongings in a torn trash bag, and left her helpless in the street, and unpaid.”

Laid-off Kenyan workers stranded in Lebanon have been protesting in front of their consulate in Beirut demanding to be repatriated.

Around 30 women, at least three with children, have been sleeping outside of the consulate after the blast rendered them homeless and jobless, like hundreds of thousands of Lebanese.

Many local volunteers and NGOs have taken initiatives to provide support for these women and children, such as donating mattresses, food, and water.

Their consulate, on the other hand, may have not been the most helpful…

A recent report by CNN shed light on the serious mistreatment of the stranded workers as well as accusations of overcharges that several Kenyan women have put forth against Honorary Consul Sayed Chalouhi and his assistant Kassem Jaber.

One of the stranded Kenyan women said, “Kassem, we come to the office, you tell us to go and do prostitution. We don’t have work!”

The Kenyan government has since said that it would send someone to investigate the assault cases – which both Chalouhi and Jaber have denied.

Kenya also announced it would evacuate citizens stuck in Lebanon and asked them to register with the Kenyan Embassy in Kuwait, accredited for Lebanon.

However, repatriation efforts were delayed with the extension of the state of emergency in Beirut.

Fortunately, according to Beirut Today, Lebanese General Security has finally begun preparing travel documents for the stranded Kenyan workers. Hopefully, they will be back home soon.

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