Migrant Domestic Workers Demands on Workers' Day 2016
For the seventh year in a row, migrant domestic workers in Lebanon celebrated Workers’ Day on Sunday May 1st 2016, demanding the Lebanese State to ratify the International Labor Organization convention no 189 on “decent work for domestic workers”. The convention was adopted in 2011 and entered into force on September 5, 2013. Migrant workers, supporters, and organizers from various civil society organizations* marched today from St. Joseph church in Monnot to St. Francis church in Hamra where a cultural festival and a market were organized by the participating migrant communities and members of the domestic workers’ union which was formed in January 2015.
For this occasion, migrant/domestic workers reiterated a number of their demands to the Lebanese State, such as to:
Ratify and implement ILO convention no 189 on decent work for domestic workers; abolish the sponsorship system in Lebanon, and more precisely to find an alternative to the system of responsibility that ties the presence of a migrant domestic worker to an exclusive employer, give domestic workers the ability to exit an abusive employment relationship and change employers; grant migrant domestic workers basic labor rights, such as the right to break their contract, to have fixed working and resting hours, the right to a day off outside the house, the right to a minimum wage…; monitor the situation of the workers inside the employers’ homes, and hold employers accountable for all types of abuse; monitor the behavior and practices of the recruitment agencies with migrant/domestic workers and review the whole recruitment and employment process; and facilitate the access of migrant/domestic workers to legal services.
*Organizations that contributed in the organization of the celebrations: Anti-Racism Movement, KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, Caritas Lebanon- Migrants Center, Insan Association, Lebanese Center for Human Rights, Amel Association International, and the Afro-Asian Migrant Center.