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Domestic Workers Union in Lebanon seeks to abolish Kafala


The Founding Committee of Domestic Workers Union in Lebanon revealed in a statement yesterday the suffering of migrant women domestic workers (MWDWs) brought about by the kafala (sponsorship) system. The Kafal system, the statement said, deprives workers of their legitimate rights, starting from the confiscation of their IDs to denying their weekly day-off, their freedom of movement and fair pay, ending up in racial discrimination and bullying. The above committee demanded official parties to work to abolish the kafala system and end exploitation of MWDWs to this effect and treat them as laborers rather than slaves. The committee also asked the labor ministry, embassies and consulates of the labor sending countries to work to shut down recruitment offices and restrict all MWDW matters to concerned public departments. It called for the suspension of all prosecutions against workers, the cancellation of fines and allowing them to change their employer to the time they leave Lebanon and return to their countries after the corona pandemic eases. In conclusion, the committee pointed out that the amendment draft laws currently under deliberation, including the unified work contract proposal do not safeguard the rights or dignity of MWDWs. It stressed the need to sign the license required to recognize the Domestic Workers Union which has been inactive for five  years in the drawers of the labor ministry, as well as sign the ILO Convention No 189 related to decent work for MWDWs. (NNA, June 16, 2020)

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