Call on Lebanon to protect migrant domestic workers
“For how many years have we been fighting the kafala system? Why can’t they give us our rights?”, a migrant domestic worker.
Thousands of women from African and Asian countries leave their loved ones every year to work as domestic workers in Lebanon, in the hope of a better future. But on arrival, they end up excluded from the labour law and trapped under the kafala system.
The kafala system binds migrant workers to the same employer throughout their stay in Lebanon – meaning they could lose their legal residency if they quit or change jobs without the permission of the employer. This leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse such as extreme working hours, no rest days, unpaid salaries, severe restrictions on movement and communication, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.
Despite this, many of these workers are still fighting tirelessly for their rights. But when a group of domestic workers formed a trade union in 2015 - the first of its kind in the region – the then Minister of Labour deemed it as illegal. Some of the union organisers were even deported.
“Domestic work is work and domestic workers have workers’ rights too. We should be treated as any other worker, as any human being.”, Banchyi, a domestic worker.
Add your voice to their fight. Call on the Lebanese government to protect migrant domestic workers’ rights in Lebanon.
Sign now and ask the Minister of Labour to end the kafala system and extend labour protections to migrant domestic workers.