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Weekly News Report: November 9-15, 2020

Ethiopian workers evacuated on November 13. Photo from the Ethiopian consulate in Lebanon

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 Ethiopian Workers Evacuated [here]

The Ethiopian consulate announced on Facebook that 84 Ethiopian women were evacuated on November 13.

Ethiopian Consulate Meets Lawyer for Evacuation Obstacles [here] 

The Ethiopian consulate met with a Lebanese lawyer to discuss the legal obstacles preventing Ethiopian workers from traveling home, especially the women who are being detained with charges and complaints.

Report on Situation of Sri Lankan Women Stuck in the Middle East [here]

An article by the Daily Mirror reported on the situation of Sri Lankan workers stranded in several countries in the Middle East including Lebanon. The article detailed the common obstacles preventing them from traveling, such as wage theft and job loss due the coronavirus situation. Excerpts were included from the letter that ARM and 60 other organizations had sent two weeks ago to the Sri Lankan government for urgent funding to evacuate Sri Lankan women from Lebanon.

Report on Evacuation and Reintegration of Cameroonian Women Evacuated from Lebanon [here]

A TV report covered the evacuation trip of the 22 Cameroonian women and the reintegration plan for them by Survivors’ Network, an organization partnering and coordinating with ARM and another organization in Cameroon.

7 more women will be traveling tomorrow.

Other

IOM’s Situation Report on COVID-19 Response [here]

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a situation report on its response to COVID-19 in the MENA region between October 29 and November 11. IOM has worked on repatriating migrant workers from Lebanon to their countries including Bangladesh, Sudan, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

The following are important relevant points from the report:

  • Migrants with health complications who were evacuated from Lebanon were accompanied by IOM personnel during the trips;

  • “Global remittance flows are projected to decline 14 per cent by 2021 compared to the pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019, according to the latest figures from the World Bank;”

  • “In Lebanon, IOM provided 215 short-term employment opportunities to vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian families that lost their job due to the latest economic crisis and COVID19 outbreak in north Lebanon and the Bekaa areas.”

UN Report on COVID-19 Effects on Food Security and Migration [here]

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a report on the impact of COVID-19 and its implications on migrant workers worldwide with regard to food security and status of remittance-dependent households.

The following are important relevant points from the report:

  • The informal labor sector has been the most severely hit, in which the majority of migrant workers occupy jobs;

  • “The COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken to contain its spread is not a temporary crisis but a profound disruption that is likely to change human mobility in the near and long term;”

  • “It is estimated that 24,600 (8 percent) of the 300,000 people most heavily affected by the [Beirut] explosion are migrant workers, mainly from Ethiopia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.”

Service Mapping for Migrant Domestic Workers [here]

“Fe-Male” organization released a mapping of services available for migrant domestic workers in Lebanon such as casework, legal services, sheltering, and health services among others. The mapping was done under “My Fair Home” campaign in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The information is available to download in several languages including Sinhala, Nepali, Bengali and Amharic.

Testimony of Ethiopian Worker Abandoned by Employer [here]

Egna Legna Besidet released a video of an Ethiopian domestic worker abandoned by her employer. The woman initially wanted to travel home but the employer refused, then the latter called the police and sent her in a taxi to the consulate without her $300 due salary.

Syndicate of Money Changers Blames Migrant Domestic Workers for Ongoing Dollar Shortage [here]

The head of Syndicate of Money Changers in Lebanon told Al-Markazia News website that dollar amounts that exchangers receive are not enough for migrant domestic workers, adding that they are exhausting the majority of limited dollars available in the market.