Why does the investigation of the "suicide" of migrant workers ends at "record speed", asks Al-Akhbar

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Nov 26 2009

Al-Akhbar newspaper published today a front page article on the suicide cases in the past 6 weeks. It raises questions as to the speed with which the Lebanese investigators conclude that the death was due to suicide of the migrant worker, even in cases when the body is bruised for reasons other than the act of suicide.

In the article, Nadim Houry, senior Human Rights Watch researcher for Lebanon and Syria, said that one mistreated Nepalese maid, who survived a suicide attempt, had looked through the window to the snow on the Lebanese mountains and thought that if she jumped, she would arrive fast to these mountains... in Nepal!

The article suggests solutions to preventing mistreatment of migrant domestic workers. Applying the law which limits the work of MDW to 10 hours per day requires strict monitoring by specialized investigators. Also, the sponsorship system is detrimental to the rights of the migrant worker because if the latter leaves the house of her employer (to report abuse and file a law suite against her employer for example), that worker will loose her residency permit! Escaping the house will make her loose her rights! The sponsorship system has to be modified, or abolished.

Full article in Arabic on this link: http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/166852/

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

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East