The Importance of Marginalized Communities in Lebanon

As a series of compounding crises propel hundreds of thousands of Lebanese into poverty, refugees and migrant workers in the country—more than a fourth of Lebanon’s population of nearly seven million—confront even starker challenges. In addition to discrimination and a lack of legal protections, they face harsh competition over limited jobs and resources.

The caretaker government initiated reforms to the foreign worker sponsorship, or “kafala” system,35 but on October 14, Lebanon’s highest administrative court suspended its implementation due to a lawsuit by the lobby for domestic worker recruitment offices.36 For now, the priority for many migrant workers is to find new accommodations or just go home.

Advocates continue to push the government to incorporate refugees and migrant workers into Lebanese labor law and hold abusive employers accountable. Without an enforcement mechanism or a patron in the Lebanese government, these communities will be exposed to more wide-scale abuses as Lebanese politicians and people become more desperate.

English | December 14, 2020



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