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October 5-11, 2020

Ivorian women protesting at embassy in Beirut on October 5, 20202. Photo from Beirut Today

Articles and views shared in the Weekly News Report do not represent ARM’s views. Information in these articles has not been fact-checked by ARM and may contain some errors. ARM is simply compiling all news relevant to migrant communities to inform our advocacy efforts and to facilitate the work of organizations who cater to migrant communities.

Evacuation Updates

First group of Cameroonian workers travel [Source is ARM]

Three Cameroonian women traveled back to their country on Saturday October 10. 31 other women and one child are set to travel and arrive in Cameroon on October 23.

Ivorian workers protest at embassy [here]

Ivorian workers protested on October 5 at their embassy in Beirut to demand being evacuated and receiving the laissez-passer documents. ARM was present to document the protest and the demands, and has been meeting with the women to support them through following up on their files.

Update on evacuation from the Sudanese embassy [here]

The Sudanese embassy addressed citizens who wish to be repatriated and requested that they submit their passports starting October 7 in order to process their requests to travel.

New fundraiser for Kenyan women [here]

A new online fundraiser was set up by the group “Send Us Home - Kenya” for Kenyan women who remained in Beirut after the first few groups left, and to support them with reintegration after they successfully arrive to Kenya.

Ethiopian consulate announces number of Ethiopians registered for evacuation [here]

The Ethiopian consulate in Beirut announced on October 8 on Facebook that a total of 1761 Ethiopians in Lebanon registered to be evacuated. It was not clear whether this number refers to everyone registered in the past or to everyone currently registered.

Ethiopian Airlines increase ticket price to Addis Ababa [here]

Ethiopian Airlines announced on Facebook on October 9 that the ticket to Addis Ababa is 292 USD if registered through their website. Last week, they had announced it was 284 USD [here].

Standard Unified Contract

Report on SUC by The New Arab [here]

In an article by The News Arab on the Standard Unified Contract (SUC), the International Labor Organization (ILO) said that the mechanism for the worker to end her employment is yet to be clarified. The ILO will also work with the Ministry of Labor to monitor if employers are abiding by the new contract.

Other

Legal case filed against employer on behalf of domestic worker [here] and [here]

Legal Action Worldwide filed the first legal case against a Lebanese employer on behalf of an Ethiopian domestic worker on charges of slavery, slave trading and torture. The case includes a demand to find the recruitment agency guilty as well, besides the employer.

The worker, who is now back in Ethiopia, had been locked up in an apartment for 7 years until end of 2019 without being paid.

Health Center for Migrant Workers to Open Soon [here]

Director of Rafic Hariri hospital Dr. Firas Abiad announced on Twitter the opening of a new health center dedicated to migrant workers next month in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

29 Million Girls and Women Victims of Modern Slavery [here] 

A report on modern slavery by WalkFree organization found that a conservative estimate of 29 million women and girls around the world are victims of modern slavery. The organziation, along witht he UN’S Every Woman Every Child program, will launch a campaign to end legalized systems of modern slavery including abolishing Kafala.

Deadline to settle expired permits extended [here] 

The General Directorate of General Security announced that the deadline to submit requests to settle expired residency permits until December 31, 2020.

Report on situation of migrant workers by Reuters [here]

An article by Reuters included testimonies of migrant domestic workers who have been subjected to abuse and mistreatment by employers under the Kafala system in Lebanon. It also reported that 10,000 migrant domestic workers submitted requests to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to be evacuated to their countries after employers stopped paying their salaries. In addition, 50% of migrant workers interviewed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were no longer able to afford rent, and 34% borrow money for basic necessities.

Migrant workers denied entry to Bain Militaire’s restaurant [here]

An ethiopian domestic worker was forbidden from entering the restaurant of the military Bath on October 6 with her employer. The reason they were told is that domestic workers are not allowed to eat at the restaurant with the guests.

Caretaker MoL visit Tripoli and addresses non-Lebanese workers [here]

Caretaker Minister of Labor (MoL) Lamia Yammine visited Tripoli on October 8 and met the Governor of the North, who addressed the problem of “Syrian workers taking away jobs from Lebanese workers” and asked the minister to follow up on and resolve this issue. Yammine in turn emphasized the ministry’s role in protecting Lebanese workers.