A New Measure Was Just Implemented In Lebanon To Protect Domestic Workers

TDS/Hasan Shaaban

Lebanon has taken a step towards losing up the harshness of the Kafala system in a move the NGO KAFA has called “a new victory for domestic workers.”

The new move makes it unacceptable to accuse migrant domestic workers of “absconding” (running away) when they decide to leave their workplace.

It also protects them from having punitive measures taken against them, according to KAFA.

With the hard work of KAFA and human rights advocacy groups, the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security has taken the decision to prohibit the use of accusatory terms such as “run-away,” “flee,” or “escape,” as the terminology is not in line with the law nor human rights.

Instead, an administrative procedure will be adopted by which the employer will simply inform the General Security office that the domestic worker has left the workplace, instead of making a criminal complaint.

“This new procedure will also allow the employer to revoke any civil responsibilities resulting from the working relationship,” said KAFA.

“This is a positive step towards ending the slavery-like relationship between employers and domestic workers established by the sponsorship system,” KAFA stated, adding that it’s a step towards establishing an equal relationship between employer and worker.