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Weekly News Report: August 30-September 5, 2021

Members of the Alliance of Migrant Domestic Workers preparing food supplies. Photo by Robin Tutenges on Slate

Articles and views shared in the Weekly News Report do not necessarily 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.

Weekly Vaccine Drives for Migrant Workers [here]

The embassy of Bangladesh announced in a Facebook post a weekly vaccination drive for migrant workers every Thursday, with transportation provided from Dora to the vaccine center. Location to be confirmed.

Six Syrian Men at Risk of Deportation [here], [here], and [here]

Six Syrian men are at risk of deportation after being kidnapped at the Syrian embassy last week where they were headed to receive their passports. The men were instructed by the General Security to secure a visa to any country other than Lebanon or they would be deported to Syria in the next 24 hours. This decision is illegal given that deportation is to be decided solely by courts.

The army had released a statement last week confirming the men were arrested by their intelligence unit and were then handed to the General Security.

Five of the 6 men crossed to Lebanon last month from the besieged city of Daraa that is now undergoing violent armed conflicts, which makes them especially at risk of forced disappearance and arbitrary detention.

The deportation has been reportedly delayed by 3 days.

Report on the Conditions of Migrant Domestic Workers on Slate [here]

An article on Slate reported the changes in the conditions of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) and the ongoing deterioration of their working conditions with the ongoing devaluation of the Lebanese pound. The following facts and numbers were additionally reported:

  • Testimonies of MDWs reporting the abuse they were subjected to by employers;
  • MDWs supporting live-in domestic workers with food assistance who are being deprived of food by employers they live with;
  • Scarcity of freelance employment opportunities for self-employed MDWs;
  • Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian domestic workers are now entering the job market sometimes through recruitement agencies that traditionally worked with MDWs; which has not been the case since the end of the civil war;
  • The profit of recruitment agencies coordinating the travel of MDWs to Lebanon amounts to at least $100 million annually;
  • Around 170,000 migrant workers left Lebanon in the past 2 years following the beginning of the current crisis;
  • 11,453 work permits were issued by the General Security in 2020, compared to 43,825 in 2019. Which constitutes a decrease by 73.8%.