Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lebanon’s Minister of Interior makes promises to improve migrant rights

Yesterday, Ziad Baroud, Lebanon’s Minister of Interior, informed the ambassadors of Philippine, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka that his ministry will be taking steps towards the protection of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. Such steps include moving the General Security prisons from Adlieh area (a prison under a traffic bridge) to another location more respective of human rights, as well as more thorough investigations in cases of death of these workers. Sources to Al-Akhbar newspaper added that the right of foreign maids to access courts will be guaranteed.

Note: this is quite an interesting development. Will the minister be up to the challenge of reforming the system of entry, stay and exit of migrant domestic workers,which has proven terribly faulty?

  1. العاملات الأجنبيات: وزارة الداخلية لحمايتهن والنيبال تمنع العمل في لبنان,” Al-Akhbar, December 2, 2009,
  2. “Baroud discusses migrant rights with embassies,” The Daily Star, December 2, 2009,

1 comment:

  1. As the Co-founder of the first Non Government Organization, human rights effort & women's shelter in the Middle East I have witnessed first- hand this horrific crime many many times!
    My Shelter, United Hope UAE formally known as City of Hope, located in Dubai had a 75% Ethiopian women victims of human trafficking & sexual, physical violence! The main problem is that the women are approached by agents that lure these unsuspecting young girls with promises of great opportunities only to find themselves trapped inside homes without access to the outside world or even a telephone. We are the only grass roots organization in Ethiopia fighting this heinous crime! We have been systematically slandered in Dubai, we have had false cases filed against our Founder as well as our human rights officers, and we have been banned from entering the UAE to protect these victims and or give them a voice! In most Middle Eastern countries the law states that if a domestic worker escapes an abusive employer she is guilty of absconding and she will face prison... We have stood in front of many of these girls in the middle of the night refusing to surrender them to the police! In 2007 we repatriated 500 such victims to our Repatriation center in Ethiopia, yet after extreme harassment we were only able to save 8 victims in 2008, due to the forced closure of the shelter, via slander & corruption from Mrs. Afra Al Bustias well who called them "no good run away maids, disgrace to the UAE""prostitutes & illegal’s" of the New Dubai Foundation for women & children! The Chairman Mr. Ahmed Al Monsoury further slandered the Founder of COH by accusing her of taking money from foreign journalists & exploiting these victims! These Governments need to be held accountable.
    Join us in our fight!! location Dubai. location Ethiopia.
    We have been raising awareness for several years against all odds all over the world to this miserable situation to have it fall on deaf uncaring ears!! Thank you Thank you so much for finally high lighting this!! We have even sent letter after letter to HRW in New York for the past 2 years pleading for help against horrible harassment on the only human rights defenders of this in the UAE without any reply... Thank you Amnesty, Ambassador Lou Debacca from of the U.S state Dept. TIP office for supporting us...