abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

9 May 2022

Author:
Pulitzer Center

Lebanon: Woman Filipino migrant worker allegedly abducted, harassed, verbally abused & denied payment of wages for months

"Domestic Worker Abduction Shows Urgency of Kafala Slavery Case" 5 May 2022

In February 2022, the violent abduction of a recently escaped Filipina migrant domestic worker by her former employer captivated Lebanese social media. The video shows a man accosting and forcing a masked woman into a silver Honda, while a second man fights off bystanders who were attempting to pull her to freedom...Rogie, whose last name is withheld due to ongoing threats to her safety, alleges months of unpaid wages and that she had been subjected to harassment and verbal abuse by...Bernard Hanna [her former employer]. When Rogie finally escaped, Hanna sought her out and abducted her in broad daylight while she traveled in the company of two other Filipino migrant workers...

According to an activist close to the case, Rogie had made a police report the week prior claiming that Hanna had been harassing her since she left his employ, but no action was taken.

Facing community pressure, Hanna brought her to the police station and was released after two days when he made a formal pledge that he would not interact with her again.

Like thousands of other migrant domestic workers who have been victimized by their employers in Lebanon, Rogie decided not to file a criminal case for her abduction, opting instead to pursue civil action with the support of the Philippines embassy to...recover unpaid wages...In the case of domestic workers, there is no legal protection specific to them. The system itself puts them at risk. Because the employer holds the power in the situation. And it's very easy for them to abuse this power...

Recent estimates suggest that there are more than 400,000 migrant domestic workers living and working in Lebanon. Living under the kafala system, they are subjected to daily abuses...

...Employers have rarely been held accountable for the suffering that they cause...