Into the Unknown- Exploitation of Nepalese migrant domestic workers in Lebanon

Publication Type

In 2012, Anti-Slavery International launched a project looking at the situation of migrant domestic workers from Nepal, prior to and after they migrate to Lebanon. The work is implemented in partnership with KAFA in Lebanon and GEFONT in Nepal. The activities build on research undertaken in these two countries as well as India examining the legislation, policy and practice of the migration cycle in origin and destination countries, with particular reference to its impact on female migrant domestic workers. The research concluded that the combination of gender discrimination in policies, lack of relevant and accessible training pre-departure, lack of protection or little or no regulation of recruitment agencies, as well as discriminatory policies in the countries of destination, mostly through the kafala -or sponsorship system- all result in a failure to protect female migrant domestic workers. The research also showed that the vulnerabilities to abuse and exploitation suffered by migrant domestic workers are inter-related and interdependent; for example, even if women received appropriate pre-departure training, they would remain vulnerable to exploitation if the ban currently preventing women under 30 from migrating to Lebanon remained. Therefore, it will be only be possible to improve their situation by addressing, concurrently, the continuum of vulnerabilities to which they are subjected prior to, during and after migrating and by making them agents of change for themselves and others in similar situations.