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Weekly News Report: September 6-12, 2021

Photo from Egna Legna Besidet

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.

Ration Card Criteria Exclude Employers of Domestic Workers [here]

The initial criteria for the ration cards to be issued by the government allegedly exclude employers of migrant domestic workers from eligibility. While the criteria has not been announced yet officially, this possibility poses a risk of another wave of abandonment of workers similar to what happened last year, in order to qualify for the card.

Deportation of Six Syrian Men on Hold [here] and [here]

The decision to deport the 6 Syrian men who were kidnapped 2 weeks ago in August was put on hold after their cases were transferred to the public prosecutor at the court of cassation Ghassan Oueidat.

However, the general director of the General Directorate of General Security (GS) Abbas Ibrahim reportedly stated that the news about the deportations were not accurate, and announced that the GS was going to settle the legal status of the 6 men. 

Report on Declining Ability to Hire Migrant Domestic Workers [here]

An article by Asharq Al-Awsat reported on the declining ability of Lebanese employers to hire migrant domestic workers, both live-in and freelancers, due to the ongoing crisis and the increasing hourly rate. The following ranges and developments of salaries were reported:

  • Initially with the beginning of devaluation of the Lebanese pound last year, migrant domestic workers started charging between 10,000-15,000 LBP per hour when the USD exchange rate was around 8,000 LBP in the black market;

  • This year, after the exchange rate reached 21,000 LBP, the hourly charge for domestic work was at least 30,000 LBP;

  • Many households and employers opted for Syrian and Lebanese domestic workers because they charge less per hour than migrant domestic workers. One Syrian woman reportedly charges 15,000 LBP/hour;

  • Before the crisis, Lebanese employers used to hire freelance domestic workers by the hour through cleaning companies, most of which have now closed.

  • Cleaning companies used to set the rate at 20 USD for 4 hours or its equivalent at the official exchange rate of 1,500 LBP before the devaluation of the Lebanese pound. Today, this rate has reportedly dropped to 8 USD for 4 hours or 150,000 LBP. 

Egna Legna Besidet Launch English Classes [here]

Egna Legna Besidet announced a new English language program for migrant domestic workers in Ashrafieh, Beirut. The classes will be given 3 times a week: Monday and Wednesday from 3-5pm, and Saturdays from 2-4pm. Migrant women can register by contacting 81688305.