As part of the Migrant Worker Task Force’s efforts for International Workers’ Day 2011, we took to the streets of Beirut and asked migrant workers THEIR opinions and thoughts on working conditions in Beirut as well their demands and hopes for International Workers’ Day 2011. This is Annette, Pulcherie and Sofie, three Cameroonian migrant workers and long-time residents of Lebanon.
In Lebanon today there are an estimated 1 million migrant workers, of which between 3 -400,000 are domestic workers. Even though they comprise nearly one-quarter of the Lebanese population, their voices and views are regularly silenced and their rights trampled upon because of their national origin, class, and race.
One-third of migrant domestic workers will never be allowed to leave the houses they work in during their time in Lebanon, more than one-third report being physically abused by their employers, and 40% are not allowed to have their own rooms. These figures reveal that Lebanon is in breach of all international conventions of the human rights of workers. This International Workers’ Day, the Migrant Worker Task Force is refocusing the issue of workers’ rights on migrant worker rights.
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