Lebanon: migrant domestic workers die at a rate of more than one per week

“Kamala Nagari, a Nepalese national who injured herself on February 20, 2008 while trying to escape, told Human Rights Watch from her hospital bed:

“I was locked in for two days, and they [the employers] did not give me food and water. Then after two days, I wanted to run away. The apartment was on the fifth floor. I tried to go down using cable wires running along the wall of building. The cable broke, and I do not remember what happened afterwards.””

“Since January 2007, at least 95 migrant domestic workers have died in Lebanon. Of these 95 deaths, 40 are classified by the embassies of the migrants as suicide, while 24 others were caused by workers falling from high buildings, often while trying to escape their employers. By contrast, only 14 domestic workers died because of diseases or health issues. (For basic details of cases compiled by Human Rights Watch, please visit: http://www.hrw.org/pub/2008/women/Lebanon.MDW.Annex.082608.pdf.)”

““Domestic workers are dying in Lebanon at a rate of more than one per week,” said Nadim Houry, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “All those involved – from the Lebanese authorities, to the workers’ embassies, to the employment agencies, to the employers – need to ask themselves what is driving these women to kill themselves or risk their lives trying to escape from high buildings.”” >>> for the rest of the report go to HRW


One comment

  1. This is a scary report! I am always shocked to see how Lebanese (and other Arab national) deal with their foreign workers. In most cases, Lebanese don’t even need someone to help them in their daily life. Most women with such workers stay at home! it’s becoming a matter of prestige!I posted a entry on this subject on one of my friends blog here: http://francelebanon.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.htmlThanks for raising the issue.

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