Lebanese Financial Crisis Validates Importance of Abolishing ‘Kafala’

They were promised the world but ended up in a Lebanese household. This is the story of many domestic workers in Lebanon. With a 70-year-old sponsor system still in place, domestic workers are tied to their employers with little or no basic rights. The ‘Kafala’ system is the major problem behind what we have been seeing in Beirut in the last months.

Dumped outside of their embassies, many domestic workers were left without money, belongings, or their passports. In June 2020, when Lebanon witnessed a new wave of economic crisis, many of the Ethiopian domestic workers were left abandoned at their embassy doors in Beirut. With recent events that escalated the country’s economic situation, Lebanese people started losing the value of their national currency. And, since all domestic workers are paid in foreign currency, especially in US dollars, their employers were no longer able to pay what they owed their employees.

English | July 10, 2020



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