Hundreds of Lebanese activists and domestic workers took to the streets on Sunday in protest of the controversial "Kafala System" and in support of migrant workers. The protest was organized by a number of activists and domestic workers’ rights groups. Protesters took to streets holding banners that demand better working conditions for domestic workers.
Demands to abolish the Kafala system has been also taking a large part of the protest. The Kafala system, also known as the sponsorship, that allows employers to control the workers’ travel permissions, chance to change employers or return home without their “Kafeel” or legal sponsor approval, otherwise the worker might face arrest or deportation.
The protesters were mostly current or former domestic workers in Lebanon who have been subject to abuse or have their rights violated due to the discriminatory laws against domestic workers.
Domestic and migrant workers rights in Lebanon have been a massive problem for the past few years with rising voices demanding the abolishment of discriminatory laws; including the Kafala, and grant workers their rights.
A report released by Amnesty International in April 2019 showed that the Kafala System has increased the risk of employees facing rights violations, physical and sexual abuse in addition to a number of labor violations including their low wages and long working hours.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s authorities have banned a website called “This is Lebanon”, on which activists are sharing stories of abuse against domestic workers taking place in Lebanon. It is being run by a former worker in Lebanon who currently resides in Canada.
Source: Al Bawaba