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.
Amirta travelled from Nepal to Lebanon for domestic work. However, she was forced to work long hours for little pay and had her food and movement restricted. Amirta was subjected to threats and physical violence that saw her admitted to the hospital.
Sometimes I only had bread and tea. I worked all day, with only bread and tea. One day, I asked for my full salary and I told madam not to send me to work at the houses of her friends and relatives, and I said that, “if you don’t give me my salary I will not work at all”. After saying this, I was beaten right away. She even used shoes to beat me. My right hand was broken and there were bruises all over my body. I was only taken to hospital 10 days later. But madam told me that if I was asked by a doctor or anyone else about what happened to me, I should not tell them that I was beaten. She told me to say that, “it happened because I fell down while I was working”.
Narrative provided by KAFA newsletter, Stop the Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers, ,issue #2, Beirut: 2010, (p.7)