Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ethiopian Suicides contributes to writing human rights report section on rights of MDWs

For the occasion of Lebanon’s review under the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review process this year, in December 2010, up to 20 Lebanese NGOs submitted a joint report on Lebanon’s compliance with its obligations in relation to the respect, protection, and fulfillment of economic and social rights.

For more information of the UPR process, click here. The report will be available publicly on the OHCHR website soon.

Ethiopian Suicides contributed to writing the following two paragraphs of the report on the rights of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon.

Paragraph 34 of the report: The number of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon is estimated to be between 130,000 and 200,000 in a population of 4 million . Lebanese legislation does not provide sufficient protection for migrant domestic workers. The system of sponsorship ‘kafala’ creates total dependence of the migrant worker on the employer, and de facto denies them the right to take their employer to court. Furthermore, there are no governmental mechanisms for monitoring the employment process, the employment agencies and employers’ abuse. This has lead to slavery like conditions, labor exploitation, restriction of movement, physical and sexual abuses, and an alarming rate of suicide and deaths.

The coalition calls on the Working Group and the Council to urge the Government of Lebanon to:

Paragraph 40 of the report: With regards to migrant domestic workers, amend the labor law to (a) abolish the sponsorship ‘kafala’ system and replace it with a contractual system (b) operationalize supervision of the Ministry of Labour on domestic workers’ employment processes and working conditions, as well as practice of the employment agencies and (c) investigate cases of abuse and provide legal protection for domestic workers.

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