Following up on the issue of abused maids, it turns out that Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center is trying to help migrant workers, mostly from Africa and East Asia, by providing some refuge and advocating their rights. They seem to have a very tough job on their hand but at least someone is acting. This article by Ethiopian Reporter mentions cases of hardships and abuse that some workers suffered and how Caritas intervened to help them.
According to the report, the organization carried out a survey of Lebanese employers’ attitude towards their migrant helpers. The results are grim, to say the least.
Over 90% of employers think it is right to confiscate their worker’s passport;
over 80% actively limit their worker’s movement and contacts;
nearly 50% have their workers on call 24 hours a day;
and 41% of employers think its fine to punish their worker – with over 30% admitting to hitting them, and regulating their food quality and intake.
This is how the article describes the work of the organization:
Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center, established in 1994 in Beirut, is a refuge and advocate for migrant workers who find themselves in a hostile working and living environment. There are drop-in centers and two safe houses for shelter. “Usually we receive trafficked girls who have been abused physically, mentally, sexually – who have been treated badly,” says Rania Hokayem, the center’s program manager.
But what about those who cannot find their way to this organization? What becomes of them?