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Weekly News Report: November 22-28, 2021

Filipina women filing papers. Photo from Reuters

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.

Report on Conditions of Migrant Domestic Workers [here]

The Center for Migrant Advocacy (CAM) published a brief report on the living and working conditions of migrant domestic workers in the Middle East, including the gender-based violence they are subjected to by employers and agents.

The article took the case of a Filipina woman who worked for an employer in Saudi Arabia that sexually assaulted her, before being transferred to an elderly employer in Lebanon following her complaints to the recruitment agency and her demand to be allowed to return home.

SORAL Meeting Discusses Propositions to MoL [here]

The board of the Syndicate of Owners of Recruitment Agencies in Lebanon (SORAL) held a meeting and discussed the propositions in the letter they had sent to the new Minister of Labor Moustafa Bayram. The following are among the propositions and points discussed:

  • Changing the duration of the agencies’ legal responsibility from 6 to 3 months;

  • Limiting number of new migrant workers entering Lebanon, as well as preventing new recruitment agencies from opening;

  • Memorandums of Understanding between Lebanon and countries of migrant workers;

  • Reconsidering the standard unified contract (SUC) which they blocked last year at the Council of State after attempted reforms by the ministry of labor (MoL);

  • Including mental disorders in the insurance policy. It is worth noting that this could be used against migrant domestic workers, as recruitment agencies usually falsely claim that migrant women reporting abuse by employers are mentally ill to try and avoid backlash, given that often they are complicit in abuse and exploitation with the employers.

Report on a Collapsed House in Shatila [here]

A video by Campji, Palestinian media collective, reported on the damage in a house in Shatila camp after a room collapsed. The rest of the house is at risk of collapsing at any moment. Around 10 houses collapsed this year in several refugee camps, after which Palesitnians called on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for support without any response so far.

Vaccination now Mandatory for Returning Filipinos/as [here]

The embassy of the Philippines in Lebanon announced that full vaccination is now mandatory for nationals who wish to return home; including those returning from Lebanon.