Ending The Plight Of Ghanaian Domestic Workers In Lebanon

With quite a stable economy for many years, Lebanon was quite an attractive destination for low-paid contract domestic workers from Ghana, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, among many others.

Human right abuses and forced labour are rife. Under Covid – induced lockdown conditions, with every member of the Lebanese family permanently at home, they are made to work around the clock. Even conditions are normal, most of them work for more than 15 – 18 hrs/day instead of the 8 hours stipulated in their contracts.​

This is complicated by an existing ‘kafala’ system which can be described as modern day slavery. The employers pay between two to three thousand US dollars to buy a worker for certain periods. Contracts are written in Arabic and imposed on girls and young women, most of whom can hardly write or read in English, let alone Arabic. Against international convention, their passports are confiscated on arrival and they might not see it again even when they are leaving. They could be locked up in homes for days when their employers are traveling without them, and also be made to work for 15 – 18 hours a day with no day of rest throughout the week, yet they are denied medical attention.

English | June 19, 2020



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