This Lebanese NGO Is Exposing Abusers Of Migrant Domestic Workers

Marwan Naamani | This Is Lebanon

This Is Lebanon, a registered NGO, has been exposing Lebanese residents that are taking advantage of the unfair Kafala system, and, most recently, they are exposing those refusing to pay their workers their salaries ever since the country’s local currency began dwindling.

Founded in 2017, This is Lebanon is led by former migrant domestic workers, as well as local and international activists and volunteers. 

The NGO is also working on a “Send Us Home” campaign to help solve the issue of domestic workers who have been trapped in Lebanon since the economic crisis began.

The campaign aims to ensure that their rights are preserved throughout the process.

The NGO posts daily stories of pictures and snippets that are evidence of the abuse slaveholders put forth on migrant domestic workers, calling them out on their mistreatment and showcasing the harsh reality of the Kafala system in Lebanon.

This Is Lebanon is not the only initiative working hard to depict the struggles of migrant domestic workers.

Back in December, the Lebanese organization KAFA created a video to help the Lebanese recognize the flaws of the Kafala system that ties the workers to their local employers who control the life and fate of their employees.

Up till now, the authorities have not stepped up for migrant domestic workers. The State Shura Council suspended in October the implementation of a standard employment contract system that would have guaranteed and protected their rights.

In spite of the tremendous efforts that activists and NGOs have been allocated for years to end the Kafala, Lebanon still has a long way to go when it comes to the safety and well-being of migrant domestic workers.

Many organizations have documented how the Kafala system grants employers excessive control over workers’ lives, leading to an array of abuses, including non-payment of wages, forced confinement, excessive working hours, and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, some of which have resulted in deaths.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported many employers abandoning their workers, without paying them what they owe them, or ensuring them with flight tickets back home.

HRW has also reported discrimination against workers when it comes to equally receiving aid after the Beirut blast.

To donate or join this initiative, click this link.

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