8 September 2014, The Daily Star Lebanon
BEIRUT: Migrant worker recruitment agencies are making elaborate profits off the back of migrant domestic workers who continue to face extremely harsh labor and living conditions in Lebanon, a new report said.
“The report found that those migrant domestic workers interviewed as part of this study are victims of practices that are akin to human trafficking and forced labor,” according to the overview of the KAFA (Enough) Violence and Exploitation report.
Of the 200,000 – 250,000 migrant domestic workers in the country, most are brought in by agencies under the kafala sponsorship system, generally meaning their employees sponsor their stay in Lebanon.
Lack of regulation and obscure laws leave this system open to abuse, with recruitment agencies working within a grey area of the law.
Migrant workers are also excluded from labor laws in the country, adding to their vulnerability.
The report, titled “Dreams for Sale: The Exploitation of Domestic Workers from Recruitment in Nepal and Bangladesh to Working Lebanon”, was compiled through interviews with 100 Nepali and Bangladeshi workers currently employed in Lebanon.