Thoughts on Media Coverage of Migrant Workers Deaths in Lebanon

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Nov 11 2009

After reading so many articles in English about the death of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, I started wondering who are we raising awareness of? The international community or the Lebanese population? Do housewives or General Security officers read The Daily Star and the Guardian and the LA Times?

In addition to a "target" problem, there's also a lack of "solutions" on the table.

Why doesn't the General Security (in charge of all foreigners in Lebanon) create a special team of women officers (or department - but I doubt it is feasible without a law) dedicated to following up on the situation and living conditions of female migrant domestic workers in Lebanon? Why doesn't the GS do spot checks in the homes of employers, just like its standard investigations of foreigners applying for residency? Why doesn't the media put pressure on the GS or even the Internal Security Forces (Police) to do their job?

Human Rights Watch suggested developing a government strategy for "combating the practice of forced confinement, providing a labor ministry hotline for the workers, appointing labor inspectors, and improving working conditions and labor law protections."

We must put the pressure on government bodies to force respect of fundamental human rights in Lebanese homes.

This was originally posted on Ethiopian Suicides, and posted here with permission

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East