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Research Report: Migrant Domestic Workers' Community Organizing in Lebanon

Friday, 24 January, 2020

Between mid-2018 and mid-2019, the Anti-Racism Movement (ARM) carried out a feminist participatory action research project that examines "safe and fair migration" from a feminist perspective, in collaboration with Mesewat and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW). In a context where minimal serious efforts to establish safe and fair migration systems that prioritize workers’ rights have been made by the Lebanese state, it is essential that we recognize and examine how many migrant workers have taken this task upon themselves in order to learn from past experiences and explore ways of organizing differently in response to the current challenges we face. Through building community groups, many migrant domestic workers care for each other and try to ensure their own safety through mutual financial, medical, emotional, and social support. They also make political demands for protection and justice from the state and other institutions and social actors around them. In 2014, several ethiopian migrant domestic workers in Lebanon came together and formed Mesewat, a grassroots community-building group that assists migrant domestic workers in emergency situations in Lebanon.

    The English version of this report can be accessed here.

    Authorship: 

    • Talah Hassan conducted this research study, including coordination, desk research, data collection, and data analysis. Talah also wrote and finalized this research report.
    • Ramy Shukr coordinated and helped conceptualize this research project. Ramy provided continuous guidance and support in the research process and edited this report throughout its writing process.

    This project was part of a wider initiative on reclaiming migrant women's narratives where 11 different organizations conducted feminist participatory action research projects from 2018 to 2019. You can find more information about the different projects here.

    Note: Unfortunately, this report is only available in English at the time of publication. We are working on publishing the Arabic and Amhraric versions of this report in the coming months and will be posting them on our page once ready.