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International Domestic Workers' Day Protest - Lebanon 2018

Sunday, 24 June, 2018

For the ninth year in a row, on Sunday June 24th 2018 at 3PM, migrant domestic workers, along with supporting individuals and organizations gathered and marched together on the occasion of International Domestic Workers Day.

Although nine years have passed, we are still voicing the same demands with no visible progress or change. The number of violations and abuses faced by domestic workers is increasing as abusive employers and recruitment agencies continue to act with impunity, and the deaths of workers fail to be thoroughly investigated. Lebanese authorities have not undertaken a single effort to fully resolve the numerous issues resulting from the sponsorship system. No serious step has been taken to ensure the legal protection of domestic workers.

Each year we will continue to firmly call for our demands until they are met. We cannot accept or tolerate the discrimination and racism against domestic workers. We cannot remain silent in the face of violence against domestic workers, and we cannot accept domestic workers' lack of access to justice. We must raise our voices against all violations and abuses.

The protesters demanded:

1) To abolish the sponsorship system and replace it with a just and fair system which guarantees domestic workers the right to resign from work, legally remain on Lebanese territory, and seek alternative employment.

2) To stop the administrative detention of domestic workers who are victims of violence and exploitation and to stop detaining and deporting those who start a family and have children in Lebanon.

3) To monitor the practices of recruitment agencies and tighten the punishment of all violators and abusers of domestic workers' rights.

4) To ratify the ILO Convention No. 189 and abide by the standards it sets.

We marched against oppression, against discrimination, and against injustice.

We call upon you to take a clear and firm stand against violence, abuse and the exploitation of all domestic workers, and to raise your voices to condemn these grave and increasing violations.

Supporting organizations:
Anti-Racism Movement
Amnesty International
Kafa (Enough Violence and Exploitation)
Insan Association
Beirut Madinati
Migrant Community Centers
Intersectional Feminist Club
Social Work Club (LAU)
IDWF- International Domestic Workers' Federation
Knowledge Workshop
The A Project

More pictures here.
-- Photo credits: Pat Sy, Charlotte Gaudreau, Muriele Honein‎