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WEEKLY NEWS REPORT: FEBRUARY 8-14, 2021

Migrant worker receiving treatment at MSF's quarantine center. Photo from MTV

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

More Migrant Workers Evacuated [source is ARM]

One Nepalese man and one Ethiopian woman were evacuated last week with the support of ARM.

More Ethiopian Workers Evacuated [here]

68 Ethiopian workers were evacuated last week from Lebanon. An official from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted the ministry’s ongoing  efforts to evacuate stranded nationals.

Employers Can No Longer Report Domestic Workers for Fleeing

GS Announces They Will Not Accept Reports of Fleeing by Employers [here] and [here]

Following recommendations by Kafa Organization, the General Security announced that employers can no longer report domestic workers for fleeing, but for leaving the workplace, as a way to absolve themselves from responsibility, following a civil and administrative procedure.

However, this still does not prevent employers from reporting the workers for false accusations such as theft.

Uncertainty around Vaccine For Non-Citizens

Vaccination Plan for Migrant Workers Still in Negotiation [here]

The ministry of labor (MoL) is still undergoing negotiations with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for a plan to vaccinate migrant workers, as they remain excluded from the  national vaccination program despite earlier announcements by many officials that said otherwise.

MoL is also communicating with all embassies and consulates to obtain the data necessary for the plan, and the IOM is discussing a temporary document for undocumented migrants. A timeline for the process is yet to be announced.

Open Letter Calling to Vaccinate Migrant Workers [here]

An open letter addressed to Dr. Abdel Rahman Bizri and others involved in the national vaccination program called to vaccinate migrant workers, stressing the obstacles they face to register and hence the high likelihood of not reaching immunity in the country if they are to remain excluded from the program.

Other

Minister of Labor Discusses Situation of Bangladeshi Workers with Ambassador [here]

Caretaker minister of labor met with the Bangladeshi ambassador to discuss improving the living and working conditions of Bangladeshi workers, and ways to help undocumented ones espcieally for evacuation purposes.

Evictions of Migrants and Refugees Continue to Rise [here]

An article by l’Orient Today reported the continuous increase in cases of illegally evicting Syrian refugees and migrant workers, ongoing since March 2020, as documented by the Housing Monitor (HM) and ARM.

Most of the rent agreements of the people who contacted HM and ARM were unofficial, i.e. without a contract. This leaves tenants without legal protection when threatened with eviction given their illegal or undocumented status, as they are often threatened by landlords to be reported to the General Security.

Report by MTV on MSF’s Quarantine Center for Migrant Workers [here]

A report by MTV highlighted the quarantine center for migrant workers run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in collaboration with UNRWA in Sibline, and interviewed migrant employees working in the facility who talked about the medical and health services offered.