Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maid Abuse Rampant

From CNN News:
A recent spate of suicides by foreign maids in Lebanon is prompting outrage among human rights groups, who say the government is doing too little to protect migrant domestic workers from severe abuse.

Over the past seven weeks at least 10 women have died, either by hanging themselves or by falling from tall buildings. Six of these cases have been reported in local media as suicides and four more have been described as possible work accidents.

In August 2008 HRW reported that more than one domestic worker was dying each week, either from suicide or failed escapes from abusive employers.

There are more than 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon -- roughly one per every four families. Overwhelmingly they are women in their 20s and 30s who come alone from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal and Madagascar, to earn money to support families back home.

The abuse faced by migrant domestic workers is a common problem throughout the Arab Middle East, both because of generally poor labor regulation and also cultural prejudice.

For more information visit: Human Rights Watch

3 comments:

Melisa said...

This is a true account of the plight of domestic helpers working in the Middle East, not only in Lebanon.

But as for suicide cases of workers coming from the Philippines, I doubt that they are really suicide cases. I've heard tons of stories of maltreatment and abuse--in all forms --by many (sorry for the term--barbaric) employers. I wonder if the International Labor Organization also investigates their plight.

Thanks for posting this.

Melisende said...

Melisa, yes it would be interesting to see if the ILO has indeed investigated. And their investigation should not be limited to just the Middle East and Lebanon.

Melisa said...

I agree, Melisende. There are also other abusive employers from other countries, not only in the Middle East.

I do hope the ILO would really uncover this new kind of slavery in an era of globalization and do something.