The Philippine channel GMA TV reported last week about the return of over 100 Filipino workers from Lebanon. The Philippines officially has a ban on sending workers to Lebanon, and those repatriated entered the country illegally.
Two such worker described the abuse they and fellow domestic workers endure in Lebanon. One of them said that she was unaware of the abuse domestic workers suffer in Lebanon, because the country has a reputation of being a good work destination. She described how her first employer barely let her sleep and the second didn’t pay her salaries. She said that other workers are raped by their employers, kept locked up, not given food and made to work for long hours. Another worker interviewed said that her employer once beat her up when she returned late from her day off.
These kinds of tales are very disturbing, and yet too common. We think that in the absence of any protection of domestic workers in Lebanon, the expected move by the Philippine government to lift the ban on sending workers to Lebanon should be reconsidered.