Migrant workers take to Beirut streets to decry poor treatment
Article from The Daily Star, by Annie Slemrod
One of the organizers of the march, which began at Saint Francis Church in Hamra, was Dipendra Uprety, chief advisor of the Non-Resident Nepali Association. “We are workers but we are not slaves,” he said. “We have a right to be respected and protected.”
Uprety said that although “the employee has a legal right to receive a translator” in criminal investigations or proceedings, this is often not the reality. He also said that a majority of domestic workers do not receive their legally mandated day off.
Rahel, a protester from Ethiopia who works as a cleaner and has lived in Lebanon for seven years, said she was there “to protest for migrant workers, for all of us, for respect … I have seen many girls beaten by their employers … [they] are not treated like humans.”
Protesters hailed from a variety of countries, including Nepal, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar and Lebanon, and the signs and chants were multilingual.
Signs held by the marchers included “Stop Wage Slavery,” “Treat Us With Humanity,” and “Investigate the Deaths of All Migrant Workers Now.”
The marchers stopped for a minute of silence outside an apartment building in Sanayeh, where Theresa Otero Seda, a domestic worker from the Philippines, died in January 2010. Seda fell from the building’s seventh story window in an apparent suicide attempt.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 03, 2011, on page 3.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/May/03/Migrant-workers-take-to-Beirut-streets-to-decry-poor-treatment.ashx#ixzz1LGmfh1Ym
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)