Monday, April 23, 2012

Flyer for Workers' Day

What is sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a set of practices and regulations that legally ties migrant domestic workers (MDWs) to one employer for their residence and work permits for the duration of their contract. The sponsorship system makes the employer responsible for the presence of the worker in Lebanon.
Problems of the sponsorship system

Migrant domestic workers

  • An MDW can change employers only if her current  employer gives their official and written consent;
  • Employers may violate the rights of MDWs because they interpret their responsibility for workers to be ownership of them. They may lock the worker inside the house, prevent her from speaking with family, friends or neighbors and keep her passport and sometimes her salary to prevent her from leaving, because they fear she will “run away”.

Sponsorship creates an UNEQUAL RELATIONSHIP between employers and MDWs

  • MDWs depend on their employers for their residence and work permits;
  • Employers can use this dependency to require workers to accept unfair working and living conditions.

Sponsorship can encourage ABUSE and EXPLOITATION of MDWs

  • Employers have control over the legal status of MDWs;
  • MDWs have a limited ability to protest violations or seek help.

What we want

  • Replace sponsorship system with an alternative immigration scheme
  • Extend the coverage of the Lebanese labor law to domestic workers;
  • Guarantee the right of MDWs to leave the house during time off and to live outside the employer’s house;
  • Allow MDWs to terminate contracts and change employers similarly to other workers in Lebanon;
  • Ensure social protection and legal recourse for MDWs;
  • Increase monitoring of recruitment agencies.

Celebrate Workers’ Day 2012
End Slavery! End Sponsorship for Migrant Domestic Workers

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