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Mira

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Easter Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. There are estimated 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and until 2012, Lebanon was the top country of destination for female migrant workers from Nepal.  Women who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through the withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threat and physical of sexual assault. Mira decided to look abroad for work after her mother died. Her brother-in-law told her she could do housework in Lebanon and arranged for her travel. However, arrival her passport was taken and upon meeting her employer she learned that she would not be going housework but caring for their mentally ill mother. Unprepared and untrained for such a job, Mira was told she couldn’t leave until her employer’s mother died. She was forced to work in Lebanon for four years before she was allowed the return to Nepal.

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Menuka

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Easter Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. There are estimated 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and until 2012, Lebanon was the top country of destination for female migrant workers from Nepal.  Women who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through the withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threat and physical of sexual assault. Menuka was looking to support her family when she decided to travel from Nepal to Lebanon to find work. Upon arrival in Lebanon, Menuka’s passport was taken from her and she was taken to provide domestic work for a family.

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Savitra

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Easter Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. There are estimated 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and until 2012, Lebanon was the top country of destination for female migrant workers from Nepal.  Women who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through the withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threat and physical of sexual assault.  Savitra was having family problems in Nepal when she decided to go to an agency who acquired her work in Nepal. Upon arrival she went to work as a domestic worker for two different employers, however found it difficult to learn the tasks required of her and was sent back to the agency in Lebanon. Rather than being allowed to return home, Savitra was told she would have to struggle in Lebanon for one or two years to pay back the debt incurred from her travel. While she was eventually placed with a nicer employer who provided her with food, accommodation and clothes, she was still unable to leave her employer’s house

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Maya B

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Lebanese children are trafficked within the country for the purpose of forced labour and sexual exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual assault.  Maya was forced to work long hours in her employer's house, and in a shop in Lebanon where she was subjected to physical abuse by the people she was living with. After an incident of physical violence Maya was taken back to the agency. Despite repeated attempts to bring her back, Maya refused to return to the house. 

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Kamala B

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Lebanese children are trafficked within the country for the purpose of forced labour and sexual exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual assault.  Kamala was looking for work to sustain her family when she decided to travel to Lebanon. While she was treated well initially, her employer became abusive, locked her in the house and  forced her to work long hours with no breaks and no pay. 

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Beatrice

After several months in slavery, Beatrice Fernando reached the point of no return. Standing on a fourth-floor balcony in Beirut, Lebanon, she realized there was “no other way to get home” but to “dive backwards.” In a recent interview she explained of her decision to step off the balcony: “When we take a step against slavery, the world will take another step.”In 1980, at the age of 23, Beatrice had responded to an advertisement for work as a housemaid in Lebanon. She left her home country of Sri Lanka, intending to send money to her parents and her three-year-old son. But in Beirut she became a domestic slave. She was locked inside a home, starved, beaten, never paid, and forbidden from communicating with the outside world. Guards were instructed to shoot her if she tried to leave. After she reached a turning-point and escaped by jumping from the apartment’s fourth floor, she spent 21 days in a coma. Doctors told her that she was paralyzed. After 14 months in hospital she recovered from the paralysis and returned to Sri Lanka. In 1989 she came to live and work in the US.