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"Fi Shi Ghalat" in Lebanon's Sponsorship System

On March 8, 2013

More than 200,000 migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Lebanon face potential exploitative and abusive working and living conditions. The sponsorship (kafala) system makes the worker dependent upon her employer for her legal status. Under this system, domestic workers are tied to one employer.

For instance, MDWs cannot easily quit their job even if they face abuse or have not been paid for months at a time. The sponsorship system encourages employers to lock the worker in the house, withhold her passport, and violate other basic human rights.

On March 7, five Lebanese NGOs (Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center, KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation, Insan Association, Amel Association International, and the Anti-Racism Movement) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, launched the "Fi Shi Ghalat" (Something Is Wrong) campaign to raise awareness of the negative consequences of the sponsorship system on both employers and migrant domestic workers.

The TV and radio campaign aims to engage the public, raise awareness in the society, and gain support for the abolishment of this system. These organizations call for the replacement of the sponsorship system with a framework that guarantees:

the right to be paid on time
the right to quit job
the right to keep her passport and belongings
the right to a system that protects her well-being, humanity and labor right
the right to a set hours of rest, including a day off outside the house

Fi Shi Ghalat Campaign insists that a more JUST system is possible. Join us in our struggle to ensure justice for and the freedom of MDWs and employers, who have no choice but to abide by the sponsorship system.

This campaign has been sponsored by the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and made possible by the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

For more information:
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Twitter: @fishighalat