Exploitation and trafficking in women


KAFA’s Anti-Trafficking and Exploitation Unit addresses two forms of exploitation that specifically target women: sexual exploitation and trafficking and forced domestic work, through two programs dedicated to these two groups of women: exploited in prostitution and migrant domestic workers.

The Unit also calls for providing legal and social protection for women and girls who are victims of exploitation and trafficking, and for changing the discriminatory social mentality prevailing against these two groups of women.

Intervention is made on several levels to reach these goals, such as:

- Advocacy for long-term legal and societal change, particularly concerning the abolition of the Kafala/sponsorship system and the inclusion of domestic workers in the Labor Law, as well as the adoption of an abolitionist approach to prostitution by decriminalizing and supporting women exploited in prostitution and punishing sex buyers, pimps, and traffickers

- Prepare research to constantly increase knowledge and update information, and to design evidence-based interventions with victims

- Awareness activities and campaigns to fight misconceptions and stereotypes about these problems

- Capabilities building with the concerned groups of women themselves. Plus, training the Internal Security Forces, General Security Forces, and service providers on how to intervene with these two groups

- Provide comprehensive services to victims through:

  • A 24/7 hotline for domestic workers and women exploited in prostitution
  • Providing social and psychosocial support and developing a comprehensive intervention plan with the social worker
  • Providing psychological follow-up with a psychologist and a psychiatrist
  • Providing legal service through legal advice, accompanying the victim during investigations, representing and pleading, and assisting the victim to file complaints, and following up the legal file related to the case
  • Providing a safe shelter belonging to the organization targeting women who are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced domestic work. This center provides temporary accommodation for these women, accompaniment, social, health, psychological and legal support. It also provides women with opportunities for empowerment and a safe return to their homeland if they are immigrants.


Five years ago, domestic workers took to the streets of Beirut to celebrate Workers’ Day for the first time in public. Years of struggling for basic human and labor rights have passed, but no change has been made to the legal system yet. However, this year is different. Last January, Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) announced the naissance of their own union, titled the “General Union for Workers in the Cleaning and Care Sectors”, in which MDWs are represented by a committee.

In three unrelated incidents, three Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon have died or been seriously injured in the last week. The Migrant Domestic Workers Coordination Consortium (MDWCC) and other civil society NGOs demand rigorous and serious investigations into the three cases and in all cases of Migrant Domestic Workers’ death or serious injury.

KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation organized at UNESCO palace on the 24th of February 2012, a discussion with the former Minister of Labor, Dr. Charbel Nahhas, on KAFA’s new policy paper,“Reforming the Sponsorship System for Migrant Domestic Workers: Towards an Alternative Governance Scheme in Lebanon”. The discussion was attended by national and international civil society organizations, as well as independent activists, journalists and leaders of migrant communities in Lebanon.


Letters sent by WMDW to Decision Makers
Recognize the Domestic Workers’ Union in Lebanon
Reforming the Sponsorship System for WMDW