After a man in Beirut put a Nigerian housekeeper for sale on Facebook, the Ministry of Labor issued a circular reminding people who employ foreign domestic workers that it’s illegal to post advertisements relevant to domestic workers on social media.
Advertising people for the purpose of trade of any form on social media is basically human trafficking online. The ministry warned that this act is punishable under Lebanese law.
Hence, the man has been arrested and taken in for investigation, reports the NNA.
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.
The man’s post stirred outrage among Lebanese and Africans alike and was met with disgust from the public.
With the price tag of $1,000, the post read, “African domestic worker from Nigeria for sale with new residency permit and complete legal documents. She’s 30 years old, she’s very active and very clean.”
Renee Abi Saad was the first to call him out, reporting him to the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon. Later, a Nigerian blogger and social media influencer named Linda Ikeji who has over 5 million followers on Instagram also wrote about the post on her blog.
The Ministry of Labor responded by banning social media ads for domestic workers and investigating the situation.
The recent case of the Nigerian teacher revealed that as of January, more than 1000 Nigerian girls were trafficked into Lebanon.
Human trafficking is not the only form of crime endured by domestic workers. Some who are legally employed suffer domestic abuse and violence with no legal protection and no way out due to the Kafala system.
While many Lebanese activists and organizations have been calling on the government to end the Kafala system, it is as important that awareness campaigns target the society on the must to treat domestic helpers humanly and fairly.
Employers must realize that mistreating their domestic workers is also teaching abuse and bad values to their children at home. It does impact the children and their perceptions of human interaction, and how they will treat others in life.