There are an estimated 10,000 people living in modern slavery in Lebanon (GSI 2018). Human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign people in Lebanon, and people from the country abroad. Women and girls from South and Southeast Asia and an increasing number from East and West Africa are subjected to domestic servitude in Lebanon. Lebanese government officials and NGOs report most employers withhold their workers passports, putting them at risk of trafficking. NGOs also report that abuse of domestic is underreported. Many migrant workers arrive in Lebanon through legal employment agencies, but are subsequently exploited or abused by their employers; some employment agencies recruit workers through fraudulent or false job offers.
Beatrice travelled from Kenya to Lebanon for employment in domestic work. Despite agreeing terms before she left, upon arrival she was forced to work long hours and went unpaid.
They said “you’ll be working eight hours a day, five days a week.” Every month they would pay me 400 dollars.
They didn’t pay me the first month or the second month. Then by the third month I asked, “Why don’t you pay me?”
I was in my bathroom. Then he came and opened the door. There was no key to lock it. He insisted on coming in. He came inside and I shouted. He got out. I was shaking and he was just laughing.
That time I didn’t take anything. I just walked out and ran away.
I was feeling confused, even wishing I would die. Because it was a hard experience.
I never…it was hard. I don’t want to remember it. But I thank God I’m safe now.
Narrative as told to filmmakers for Maid in Hell. Credit is given to The Why Foundation and Documentary Filmmakers Puk Damsgaard & Søren Klovborg