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Weekly News Report: October 12-18, 2020

Photo from Sky News Arabia

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

Egna Legna successfully evacuated over 200 women [here]

Egna Legna Besidet announced on Twitter that they have successfully supported 216 women to be evacuated to Ethiopia, and are currently supporting 200 others.

Embassy of the Philippines announces updates for evacuation [here]

The embassy of the Philippines announced on Facebook they had intoroduced new measures for its “Free Voluntary Mass Repatriation Program” starting October 19, for documented and undocumented workers. It also announced that people who changed their minds about leaving lebanon will not be allowed to enlist in the free program.

Confusion Around GS Penalty Fees [source is ARM]

The GS reported orally to a staff member from ARM that all undocumented workers will be charged a flat fee of 140,000 LL before they leave Lebanon. This decision was not issued in writing and contradicts previous decisions made by GS. At the same time, ARM is still receiving reports from migrant workers being asked to report to the GS to pay the penalty fees they have accumulated over the years at the rate of 300,000 LL per year of overstay for women and 400,000 LL for men. Some workers reported that they are paying a flat fee of 300,000 LL, regardless of years of overstay. Other workers have seen their penalty fees waived completely following a request for exemption sent to the GS by their consulate / embassy. This inconsistency raises many questions and concerns and further complicates the evacuation process.

Other

Migrant worker found dead in Batroun [here]

An unnamed Ethiopian domestic worker was found dead in the town of Abrin in Batroun. Security forces opened an investigation, and the case was only reported in Arabic on 4 websites.

ARM’s work featured on Medico International [here]

Medico International featured an article on the situation of migrant workers demanding to be evacuated and the obstacles they are facing, as well as the advocacy and relief efforts by ARM.

Report on Situation of Migrant Workers by Al Jazeera [here]

An article by Al Jazeera included stories of several migrant workers from Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Kenya and Bangladesh. The article also reported that the International Organization for migration (IOM) estimated that 24,500 migrant workers were directly affected by the Beirut port explosion. 

Report on Cameroonian women and ARM’s campaign by Sky News [here]

A report by Sky news Arabia on the situation of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon featured  a group of Cameroonian workers, as well as the work and advocacy efforts of ARM.

Report on Modern Slavery in Ghana [here]

An article by Modern Ghana on modern forms of slavery in Ghana reported the increasing employment of Ghanaians in the informal labor sector, which involves trafficking to countries in the Middle East including Lebanon, facilitated by agents in Ghana who deceive the Ghanaians and give false promises. The reported forms of modern slavery include very harsh working conitons, mistreayment and abuse, as well as unpaid wages whihc oblige the person to restart their life in Ghana when they go back home.

Honorary Consul of Nepal promoted to Consul General [here]

The Honorary Consul of Nepal in Lebanon Sheikh Mohamad Ghouzayel has been promoted to Consul General by the Nepalese government on October 14, 2020.

General Confederation of Lebanese Workers strike [here]

The General Confederation of Lebanese workers called for a nation-wide strike on Monday October 14 to protest the deteriorating living conditions affecting workers, and to demand protecting lbenaese workers from foreign labor.