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WEEKLY NEWS REPORT: APRIL 19-25, 2021

Ethiopian workers evacuated. Photo from Ethiopian consulate

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.

Updates on Vaccination for Migrants and Refugees

New Circular by MoL on Vaccinating Migrant Workers [here]

Caretaker minister of labor issued a circular addressing institutions employing migrant workers to include them for the vaccination drive targeting private institutions.

Report on Obstacles to Vaccinate Syrian Refugees [here]

An article by Lebanon 24 reported the obstacles in the way of vaccinating Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the risk of delaying herd immunity if no solution is found. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that its main task is to communicate with the refugee population to raise awareness on the vaccine against the spread of misinformation, as well as following up with registered individuals for their appointments.

The main obstacle cited was the locations of vaccination centers far from refugee camps in most cases, given the increased cost of transportation.

In addition, the following numbers were cited:

  • Around 17,000 Syrian refugees registered for the vaccine

  • 89% of Syrian refugees fall below the poverty line

  • The monthly income of each Syrian refugee is estimated 300,000 LBP

  • 865,331 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR, out of an estimated 1,5million refugees in total

Report on Exclusion of Undocumented Migrants from Vaccination Plan [here]

An article by Beirut Today reported the delay in vaccinating undocumeted migrant workers due to their legal status and lack of valid papers.

A migrant domestic worker stated that some employers are deducting the price of the vaccine from the worker’s salary, in the case where the employer registers the worker as a plus one for the Sputnik vaccine to be given to private institutions.

Evacuation Updates

More Ethiopians Evacuated [here] and [here]

181 Ethiopian workers were evacuated over the past week, most of whom were undocumented. 

More Migrant Workers Evacuated [source is ARM]

Four migrant workers and 4 children were evacuated last week to Ethiopia, Nigeria and Togo with the support of ARM.

Other

New Numbers on Migrant and Foreign Workers [here]

Information International released new numbers related to migrant and foreign workers in Lebanon, most notably the following:

  • The number of non-Lebanese workers dropped by around 92,000 in 2020 compared to 2019

  • 143,532 work permits were renewed in 2020, compared to 203,263 renewed in 2019

  • 11,453 new work permits were granted in 2020, compared to 43,825 in 2019

  • The number of undocumented workers is estimated between 100,000-150,000, half of whom left Lebanon in 2020

  • Number of migrant domestic workers dropped from 182,377 (2019) to 117,869 (2020)

New Report on Abuse of Migrant Workers [here]

Triangle research center released a new report on the abuse of male migrant workers in Lebanon, and their vulnerability to human trafficking in the pre-2020 context specifically after becoming undocumented.

The report argues that the current circumstances could potentially pave the way towards improving the conditions of migrant workers by changing the migration system regulating their entry and labor.