Friday, May 30, 2014

Abuse, hardship for migrant workers in Lebanon


The Kafala system - which is also in place in a number of Gulf states - requires domestic migrant workers to have a sponsor in the country of their destination. This is usually the prospective employer, who has to pay visa and flight costs and possibly an agency fee. It is an outlay that runs beyond the thousand dollar mark, and which assistant coordinator of the Migrant Community Center in Beirut, Rahel Abebe, says leads to a misplaced sense of ownership.

"Because they bring a woman in from another country - such as Ethiopia - they think they have bought her. They don’t understand they are paying for the process, they think they are paying for her."

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