Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nepal's self-respecting gov't stops domestic work in Lebanon

In the last eight months, nine Nepali workers have committed suicide because of the torture from their employers, has reported Nepal News. As a result, the Nepalese Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has decided to stop granting permission to individuals to work as domestic workers in Lebanon.

Kashi Nath Marasini, director of Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), told myrepublica that the decision was taken with immediate effect from Wednesday [25 November], keeping in view the increasing reports of suicide by Nepali women - who are mostly employed as domestic helps -- and torture meted out to workers by their employers.

Ethiopian Suicides comments: Other sending states have reportedly also prohibited their women from working in Lebanon, BUT HAVE FAILED TO IMPLEMENT their decision, partly because these women go to Dubai first and then to Lebanon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Notes on the Situation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon

When I was being interviewed by a journalist from El Mundo (Spain), we somewhat agreed that migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are well treated “in a significant number of homes”. There’s a lot of generalization about the “evil” Lebanese housewives. But 95% of the people I know who have MDWs at home (family, friends) do not mistreat in any way their maids. (There’s one exception though where the women employer suffers the superiority complex like many Lebanese).

So, it’s not all about bad housewives! One aspect of the problem is the complete absence of safety nets for that category of mistreated migrant workers the percentage of which we do not know.

And to illustrate the complication of the problem, I talked with many people about the need for “a hot-line” where beaten maids can call for help. But that hot-line will have to be able to respond in fluent Ethiopian, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Malagasy, Bengali, Eritrean, Filipino, etc. 24 hours / 7 days. Who’s going to set up and finance that? And we need brochures in all these languages informing of the hot-line.

In one case where a migrant domestic worker dragged to courts several years ago in Lebanon, she couldn’t speak Arabic or English. A French priest who’s involved in migrant rights protection, and had lived in her country, understood her language and was translating to French. And a translator was translating from French to Arabic for the judge and lawyers.

Why does the investigation of the "suicide" of migrant workers ends at "record speed", asks Al-Akhbar

Al-Akhbar newspaper published today a front page article on the suicide cases in the past 6 weeks. It raises questions as to the speed with which the Lebanese investigators conclude that the death was due to suicide of the migrant worker, even in cases when the body is bruised for reasons other than the act of suicide.

In the article, Nadim Houry, senior Human Rights Watch researcher for Lebanon and Syria, said that one mistreated Nepalese maid, who survived a suicide attempt, had looked through the window to the snow on the Lebanese mountains and thought that if she jumped, she would arrive fast to these mountains... in Nepal!

The article suggests solutions to preventing mistreatment of migrant domestic workers. Applying the law which limits the work of MDW to 10 hours per day requires strict monitoring by specialized investigators. Also, the sponsorship system is detrimental to the rights of the migrant worker because if the latter leaves the house of her employer (to report abuse and file a law suite against her employer for example), that worker will loose her residency permit! Escaping the house will make her loose her rights! The sponsorship system has to be modified, or abolished.

Full article in Arabic on this link:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Safia D., Bengali, has committed suicide yesterday

Al-Akhbar newspaper has reported today that Safia D., a 26 year old Bengali maid, was found dead in the house of her employers, close to Jbeil (Byblos), hanging from a rope around her neck, tied to a pipe in the heating room of the house. Security reports said that she committed suicide.

This is the 6th or 7th reported suicide of migrant domestic workers since October 09.

“وفاة عاملة بنغالية,” Al-Akhbar, November 24, 2009,

عُثر على جثة العاملة البنغالية صافية د. (26 عاماً) مشنوقة بحبل ملفوف حول عنقها، ومعلق بقسطل داخل غرفة الشوفاج في منزل مشغليها قرب جبيل. وجاء في تقارير أمنية أن صافية انتحرت.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Article: MDWs Dying on the Job in Lebanon

Dalila Mahdawi published yesterday an article on IPS News on Migrant Women Dying on the Job in Lebanon. The following is an excerpt.

BEIRUT, Nov 21 (IPS) - October and November have been bloody months for Lebanon's migrant domestic workers - over the last five weeks nine women have died. Most deaths have been reported as suicide.

The body of 20-year old Anget R. of Madagascar was found hanging from a rope at her employer's bedroom door Nov. 11. A newspaper in Madagascar reported the deaths of two other Malagasy women in October. One, identified only as Mampionona, was said to have fallen from the balcony of her employer's house. The other, identified as Vololona, died after reportedly jumping from the balcony.

Sunit Bholan of Nepal, who was 22, allegedly committed suicide Oct. 8. Ethiopian Kassaye Etsegenet, 23, died after reportedly jumping from the seventh floor of her employer's house Oct. 15. She left behind a suicide note citing personal reasons.

On Oct. 21, 26-year-old Zeditu Kebede Matente of Ethiopia was found dead, hanging from an olive tree. Two days later 30-year old Saneet Mariam also of Ethiopia died after allegedly falling from the balcony of her employer's house.

The list goes on: Nepalese national Mina Rokaya, 24, and then Tezeta Yalmoya of Ethiopia, 26 – who also died, it was said, when she fell from the balcony.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Newspapers fail to follow up on last week's suicide case

Since Al-Akhbar's 2 line reporting on the suicide of a Madagascari domestic workers in the Maten area, no follow up, by any Lebanese newspaper, was done. NOTHING was written to clarify the circumstances of her death.

منذ نشر جريدة الأخبار سطرين عن انتحار خادمة من مدغسقر الأسبوع الماضي، لم ينشر أي تقرير أو مقال يوضح ملابسات الحادث في أي جريدة لبنانية

Three-way communication between 3 migrant domestic workers in Beirut

Three-way communication between 3 migrant domestic workers in Beirut. They were shouting to each other, enjoying the privacy of their common language that no one understands, or that if someone understands it, he would be considered part of the "team". Each maid works in a different home, in two buildings in Beirut.

The "phenomena" of maids socializing on the balconies is widespread in Beirut. I notice it in many areas where buildings are close to each other. It's one of their few moments of getting in touch with "the outside world". They seemed pretty ok, not mistreated.

Photos: Lanka Market, a Sri Lankan shop in Beirut

Selling food and clothes and many more items.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Al-Akhbar newspaper reports the suicide of 20 year old maid from Madagascar

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported today the body of Anget R. (20 years old, from Madagascar) was found hanging from a rope at the bedroom door of her employers in one of the Maten villages (Mount Lebanon). Al-Akhbar added that initial information indicate that she hung herlself.

Despite last week's big media buzz, locally and internationally, and after Human Rights Watch's press release on the high number of migrant workers deaths in October 09, Al-Akhbar only gave 2 lines for the news! It seems that only Al-Akhbar newspaper has reported this information.

“وفاة عاملة أجنبية... شنقاً,” Al-Akhbar, November 12, 2009

وفاة عاملة أجنبية... شنقاً
عُثر على جثة أنجيت ر. (20 عاماً ـــــ من مدغشقر) معلّقة بواسطة حبل عند باب غرفة نوم مشغّليها في إحدى قرى المتن. جاء في تقارير أمنية أن «المعلومات الأوّلية تشير إلى أنها شنقت نفسها».

Ethiopian Review on the death of Ethiopian maids in Lebanon: Check the comments!

Ethiopian Review has copy/pasted a couple of articles in English on the death of Ethiopian maids in Lebanon. I'd appreciate if you read the comments of Ethiopians under these articles, just to get a sort of feedback from Ethiopians.

One comment says: "the suicides committed by the Ethiopian maids, should be considered murders because their employer were the cause of these unfortunate cases. It seems that these women thought they escaped from struggle and poverty at home when they arrived at Lebanon. They didn't leave their home land because they wanted to, but because poverty and lack of work made them look else where for improvement."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on Media Coverage of Workers Deaths

After reading so many articles in English about the death of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, I started wondering who are we raising awareness of? The international community or the Lebanese population? Do housewives or General Security officers read The Daily Star (see below) and the Guardian (see below) and the LA Times?

In addition to a "target" problem, there's also a lack of "solutions" on the table.

Why doesn't the General Security (in charge of all foreigners in Lebanon) create a special team of women officers (or department - but I doubt it is feasible without a law) dedicated to following up on the situation and living conditions of female migrant domestic workers in Lebanon? Why doesn't the GS do spot checks in the homes of employers, just like its standard investigations of foreigners applying for residency? Why doesn't the media put pressure on the GS or even the Internal Security Forces (Police) to do their job?

Human Rights Watch suggested developing a government strategy for "combating the practice of forced confinement, providing a labor ministry hotline for the workers, appointing labor inspectors, and improving working conditions and labor law protections."

We must put the pressure on government bodies to force respect of fundamental human rights in Lebanese homes.

إثر قراءة كل هذه المقالات باللغة الإنجليزية عن سوء معاملة العاملات الأجانب في لبنان، بدأت أتساءل إذا كان ربات المنزل أو ضباط الأمن العام يقرأون ذي غارديان أو الدايلي ستار أو غيرها من الصحف الناطقة باللغة الإنجليزية

إضافة إلى مشكلة "المستهدف"، هناك نقص في الحلول المطروحة. لماذا مثلا لا يخلق الأمن العام اللبناني جهازا أو فريقا مؤلف من ظابطات نساء يتابعن وضع العاملات الأجانب في لبنان ويقمن بزيارات للمنازل كما في التحقيقات في طلبات الإقامة لأي أجنبي؟ لماذا لا يضغط الإعلام على الأمن العام وقوى الأمن الداخلي كي تقوم بواجباتها؟

منظمة هيومن رايتس واتش اقترحت اسراتيجية تشمل مكافحة ممارسات الحبس داخل المنزل، وتوفير خط ساخن للعاملات لتقديم الشكاوى، وتعيين مفتشي عمل، وتحسين أوضاع العمل وضمانات الحماية في قانون العمل

يجب أن نضغط على المؤسسات الحكومية اللبناني كي تفرض احترام حقوق الإنسان في المنازل اللبنانية

Video: Migrant workers face abuse in Lebanon - 22 Aug 09

Women worked to death in Lebanon (

Dalila Mahdawi, Beirut based journalist, wrote for The Guardian, on the deaths of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, on Tuesday 10 November 2009.


Four Ethiopian domestic workers are thought to have killed themselves in three weeks. Lebanon must protect these women.


The spate of suicides has become so bad in recent weeks it prompted Lebanese blogger Wissam to launch the grimly named Ethiopian Suicides blog. The website is dedicated to monitoring media reports on the deaths of foreign migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. "I have a dream," Wissam says. "That migrant domestic workers will be treated humanely in Lebanon and will stop trying to commit or committing suicide."

In the last three weeks alone, Wissam notes, four Ethiopian women have died. Lebanese police say the deaths of Kassaye Atsegenet, 24, Saneet Mariam, 30, Matente Kebede Zeditu, 26, Tezeta Yalmiya, 26 were probably suicides. But as human rights activists here will testify, the truth about what happened to them may never be known because police usually only take into account the employer's testimony. Migrants who survive abuse or suicide attempts are not usually provided with a translator, meaning their version of events often does not get registered with officials.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Daily Star: Alarming trend of domestic worker deaths persists

The growing pattern has not gone unnoticed, and one concerned Lebanese citizen has even set up a blog, “Ethiopian Suicides,” to catalogue incoming reports of deaths in the migrant community. The blog calls for Lebanese to treat their domestic workers “more humanely to stop them from killing themselves,” and has received support from human-rights groups in the region.

Full article:

Alarming trend of domestic worker deaths persists
By Josie Ensor
Daily Star staff
Monday, November 09, 2009
Link to original file:

BEIRUT: At least six domestic migrant workers are believed to have committed suicide in the past month in Lebanon. But rather than being anomalies, their deaths are the most recent in an alarming trend. According to Human Rights Watch, more than one female migrant worker dies a week on average, and many more are injured trying to escape harsh working conditions in the country.
Last month, 26-year-old Ethiopian Matente Kebede Zeditu, was found hanged from an olive tree in Harouf, southern Lebanon. Ram Embwe, a 23-year-old Nepalese national, fell from the building where she worked in the Beirut suburb of Shiah a few days later, and Kassaye Atsegenet, 24, reportedly jumped from a seventh floor balcony in the neighborhood of Gemmayzeh in an attempt to free herself from the home in which she felt a prisoner.
“There is a clear pattern here and it can’t be ignored,” says Nadim Houry, a migrant rights researcher with the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW). “People try to pass off suicides among migrant workers, particularly the Ethiopian community – saying that they are crazy and have higher suicide rates anyway, but you cannot attribute this to national characteristics.”
Human-rights advocates in the region believe these women are either pushed to suicide by poor working condition and abuse from with their employers or fall while attempting to escape. It is not uncommon practice for these migrant maids to have their passports taken away, or to be locked inside for years at a time by those who employ them.
There are believed to be over 200,000 domestic workers in Lebanon, many of whom are smuggled from Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Philippines and Ethiopia. In the last year, both Ethiopia and the Philippines took the step of banning travel to Lebanon due to the high number of suspicious deaths among the domestic worker community.
The ban has only pushed the trade underground, however, and agencies in the two countries are now sending women through third countries like Yemen.
Lebanon’s Labor Ministry attempted to tightened legislation on foreign workers in January this year by introducing a standard contract, but Houry says they have failed to enforce the new rights with commissioning bodies and watchdogs.
But, as Houry points out, the deaths of these female workers are the effect, not the cause. “It is the tip of an iceberg- a manifestation of the real underlying problem and this problem runs deep in our society.”
Houry says a culmination of isolation from the outside world, the lack of privacy the women experience, coupled with the feeling there is no way out, leads women to take these drastic steps.
“Most of them sign a two to three year contract, where the employer pays up to $2,000, so when they realize they are unhappy after a couple of months and want to leave they can’t as they cannot afford to pay the money back. That is how they get trapped.
“They end up taking enormous risks to escape and it results in death.”
The growing pattern has not gone unnoticed, and one concerned Lebanese citizen has even set up a blog, “Ethiopian Suicides,” to catalogue incoming reports of deaths in the migrant community. The blog calls for Lebanese to treat their domestic workers “more humanely to stop them from killing themselves,” and has received support from human-rights groups in the region.
But, Lebanon cannot take all the blame for these women’s deaths.
Houry says agencies in the countries supplying workers go into the rural areas to lure recruits by knowingly giving them false impressions of work in the Middle East.
“For these [recruiters] the logic of profit outweighs the well-being of the person, and they will tell them anything to get them to come,” Houry says. “They forget there are people involved and it isn’t just a business.”
The site that reported the deaths of two Madagascan girls, Madagascar Online, even describes the situation tragedies as a paradisiacal holiday gone horribly wrong.
“The Lebanese adventure ended in a graveyard for Vololona and Mampionona,” the author writes. “The Lebanese paradise promised by recruitment agencies to Malagasy workers proves to be closer to hell than expected.”
One of the girls, a young 21-year-old mother named locally only as Mampionona, left Madagascar to work for a Lebanese family only a month before her death. In that short time she worked here, she wrote home saying she was forced to work long hours, often until 2 a.m, and was rarely allowed outside the house.
In almost all of the cases, including Mampionona’s, the police verdict has been suicide. However, both Migrant Rights, a group campaigning for migrants working in the Middle East, and Human Rights Watch, are questioning the cause of death.
Fatima Gomar, editor of, told The Daily Star that “the immediate course should be to investigate suicides of migrant workers as possible homicides, with the employer as the main suspect. If the investigation shows that the maid was mistreated by her employer, [they] must face consequences.”
Gomar and Houry agree that authorities need to conduct more thorough investigations into these cases in order to first rule out the possibility of murder.
Police should hold employers, agencies and embassies to account for domestic workers, Houry says, and “until there are proper investigations into these incidents, these needless deaths will continue.”

HRW reports on Deadly Month for Domestic Workers in Lebanon

November 9, 2009 - The Lebanese government should investigate the deaths of eight migrant domestic workers during October 2009, as well as the reasons for the disproportionately high death rate among this group of workers, Human Rights Watch said today. An estimated 200,000 domestic workers, primarily from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, work in Lebanon.

Full press release بالعربي:

The report includes the following details about Deaths of Migrant Domestic Workers in October 2009:

On October 8, Sunit Bholan of Nepal, 22, reportedly committed suicide.

On October 16, Kassaye Etsegenet of Ethiopia, 23, died after reportedly jumping from the seventh floor of a building on Charles Helou avenue in Beirut. Etsegenet left a suicide note in which she states that her decision was based on personal reasons, in particular, a fight with another member of her family.

On October 21, Zeditu Kebede Matente of Ethiopia, 26, was found dead in the town of Haris hanging from an olive tree.

On October 23, Saneet Mariam of Ethiopia, 30, died after falling from the balcony of her employer's house in the town of Mastita.

On October 23, Mina Rokaya, of Nepal, 24, died after being transferred from her employer's house in Blat to a hospital. The police report says that she died from a heart attack.

On October 28, Tezeta Yalmoya of Ethiopia, 26, died after falling from the third floor of the apartment building where she worked in `Abra, next to Saida. According to reports in local papers, she fell while cleaning the balcony.

Newspapers in Madagascar reported the deaths of two Malagasy women in Lebanon in October. The first worker, identified as Mampionona, reportedly fell from the third floor while cleaning the balcony. She had arrived in Lebanon on September 1. The other, identified as Vololona, died after reportedly jumping from the fourth floor.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ethiopian maid beaten by Lebanese Internal Security Forces

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported today that an Ethiopian maid was beaten and insulted at the hands of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF - Police) at the police station of Mina El Hosn in Beirut, according to witnesses.
When Al-Akhbar contacted the officer in charge, he replied shouting: you do not have the right to ask about that!
Later, Al-Akhbar found out that she was arrested for not having ID papers.

ضرب وإهانة عاملة إثيوبية في مخفر

تعرّضت سيدة إثيوبية للضرب المبرّح والإذلال على يد رجال قوى الأمن الداخلي، يوم الثلاثاء في الثانية والربع ظهراً، في مخفر ميناء الحصن الكائن في منطقة برج المر، وذلك بحسب شهود عيان. ووفقاً للشهود أنفسهم، فإن رجال الأمن ادّعوا أن السيدة الإثيوبية كانت قد تعرّضت لهم، ما برّر بنظرهم الاعتداء عليها. وقد اتصلت “الأخبار” بالمخفر المذكور، من دون أن يجيب أحد. فاتصلت بالضابط المسؤول، الرائد و.أ.ح. فلم يبادر إلى نفي الحادثة، بل أجاب بنبرة مرتفعة وحادة “لا يحق لكم السؤال عن ذلك”، علماً أن المتصل عرّف عن نفسه بأنه صحافي، وتبيّن لاحقاً أن سبب توقيف السيدة الإثيوبية هو عدم حيازتها أوراقاً ثبوتية.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TheMediaLine: Suicide Trend Among Lebanese Maids Gets Worse

This article interviews senior Human Rights Watch researcher for Lebanon and Syria, Nadim Houry (and not migrant worker researcher), and ADDS INFORMATION AND DETAILS ON CASES previously syndicated on our blog. Most probably, it's Nadim's research.

Suicide Trend Among Lebanese Maids Gets WorseWritten by Benjamin Joffe-Walt
Published Monday, November 02, 2009

Four suspected suicides within two weeks comes one year after critical report citing high rates of suicide by domestic workers in Lebanon.

Four Ethiopian domestic workers in Lebanon are believed to have committed suicide over the past two weeks.

The news comes one year after an extensive report on working conditions for migrant domestic workers in Lebanon found one female maid to be dying in the country every week.

"It seems that things have simply not changed," Nadim Houry, a migrant workers researcher with the US-based Human Rights Watch, told The Media Line. "The rate we found last year was very alarming and we are still alarmed by the rate of deaths we are seeing, which look similar if not worse than last year."

Two of the four cases over the last two weeks have been confirmed suicides.

The first, 26-year-old Matente Kebede Zeditu, was found to have hung herself from an olive tree in Harif, Southern Lebanon. Ethiopian diplomats in Beirut had no record that Zeditu was in Lebanon.

Ethiopian women are regularly trafficked via Djibouti, Egypt and Somalia for domestic servitude, particularly to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.Labor rights advocates say an underworld of unregistered Ethiopian workers has been created since the Ethiopian government banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon last year, a move taken after the deaths of a number of Ethiopian domestic workers in the country.

"Many are still coming and agents in both Ethiopia and Lebanon have found ways to get around the ban, often by sending migrant workers through third countries like Yemen," Houry said. "So we tried to go to the consulate but they just didn't have any information."

The second case, 24-year-old Kassaye Atsegenet, jumped from the seventh floor of a building in downtown Beirut and left a suicide note. The police officially reported the suicide as the result of a spat between Atsegenet and her sister.The third case, 26-year-old Tezeta Yalmiya, died under suspicious circumstances after falling from the third floor of a building in Abra, near the city of Saida. It is unclear whether Yalmiya accidentally fell, was attempting to escape, or was pushed.

"All we know is that supposedly she was trying to clean and she fell," Houry said. "Cases where it's intentional homicide are rare, but it does happen. Usually, though, it's either suicide, an attempt to escape down the outer walls using TV cables and they just fall or they are asked to do dangerous work."

Little is known about the final case, 30-year-old Saneet Mariam, a fourth Ethiopian national who died in the town of Mastita.

"There are some clear cases where you can tie the causes of death or suicide to abuse by the employers," Houry said. "In many other cases the direct causation is not as clear because there are a number of things going on. But when you have a pattern of suicide like this you can't just attribute it to individual depression, it points to a more systemic issue driving these women to commit suicide."

"There are clearly a number of women who kill themselves because of workplace conditions," he continued. "The isolation that these women feel, and that they have no support structure, is a clear factor here. In most cases they have no privacy, don't have a day off, don't have the ability to talk to anyone else and their work conditions are so bad these women kind of lose their appetite to live."

Houry argued that much of the problem lies in the false expectations many migrant domestic workers are given prior to their arrival in Lebanon. Many workers pay hundreds of dollars expecting high-level business jobs.

"The women who are being sent overseas don't know what to expect," he said. "They've been promised things that are not true and they end up feeling trapped. They may decide they miss family and want to go back, but the employer does various things to put pressure on them to continue working and they see no way out but to commit suicide."

There are believed to be around 200,000 domestic workers in Lebanon and a Human Rights Watch investigation last year found that more than one domestic worker was dying every week in the country. Half of the deaths were Ethiopian women, who make up less than a quarter of the domestic workers in Lebanon.

The report found that while most Lebanese employers treated domestic workers well, many were found to withhold workers' passports, withhold salaries, forbid workers from leaving the house. Cases of abuse, both verbal and physical, were also common.

Labor rights advocates say that since then the Lebanese government has done very little to stem the tide of deaths, to improve working conditions among migrant domestic workers, or to create an enforcement body to protect foreign workers and prosecute abusive employers.

"What happens with migrant domestic workers is that their rights are not very well protected by national legislation and employers often treat them very badly," Gloria Moreno-Fontes, a senior labor migration specialist with the International Labour Organization told The Media Line. "Some advances have been made in Lebanon but incidents like these are very worrying."

"It's an issue of enforcement," Moreno-Fontes stressed. "There is a lack of monitoring and a lack of control over the employers or their intermediaries, such as private agents.»

"The government needs to do more and there needs to be better enforcement of existing laws," she said. "There also needs to be a mechanism to monitor what is going on in the households. In some countries, for example, they permit labor inspectors into the household. But in most Arab countries they would never even consider this option, as the home is seen as within the private sphere and therefore untouchable."

The International Labor Organization plans to push international standards on labor recommendations for domestic laborers in their annual conference next year.

Houry agreed that there was a need for better law enforcement.

"First, there has to be a commission to look into this phenomenon and a hotline set up so that these women can call in to raise a flag before they actually get to the point of committing suicide," he warned. "Then, there needs to be enforcement when the flag is raised."

"While the police always come to investigate, the investigations are very superficial," Houry claimed. "They don't try to figure out if there was a situation of abuse and they don't inquire about the working conditions. They just sort of write it down and move on."

Houry said even after death the families of the departed often face further difficulties.

"Sometimes the bodies sit in a fridge in Lebanon for months," Houry claimed. "Also the insurance companies often refuse to pay to repatriate the bodies."

"There is sometimes just an utter disregard for life," he added. "We found one case in which they sent the wrong person, an Ethiopian worker's body, back to Nepal. When her family opened the casket they realized the mistake."

NowLebanon: Suicidal circumstances

NowLebanon takes note of our small blog and links to us in their article on the suicide of migrant domestic workers. Other links interesting too, as well as interview with HRW's Nadim Houry.