26 November 2014, The Daily Star
BEIRUT: A conference aimed at tackling conditions of migrant domestic workers, including risks of abuse by their employers, was held Wednesday, amid increasing cases of foreign housemaids committing suicide in Lebanon.
Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi emphasized the urgent need to regulate the employment of migrant workers on the basis of respect of human rights and dignity.
“We want to organize migrant labor within the framework of human dignity and the Labor Ministry will be firm in confronting abuses committed by employers against housemaids,” Azzi told the conference.
The gathering was attended by representatives from more than 600 recruitment offices across Lebanon, in addition to human rights activists and NGOs.
Azzi said the conference was aimed at reforming the sector to ensure suitable employment conditions for foreign workers through open discussions between the ministry and employment offices, some of which are operating illegally and without licenses.
The minister called on the employment offices to start by removing “indecent and discriminatory” advertisements starting next month, or face a freeze of their transactions.