Kafa

The standard unified labor contract issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Labor on September 8, 2020, is the first step in a series of measures needed to abolish the Kafala / sponsorship system to which foreign domestic workers are subjected.
In this tragic situation, and in light of the ruling class’s indifference for people's lives, interests, money, and safety and denying them from their most basic human rights, KAFA decided, and after we received many requests from people willing to provide support through organizations operating on the field (and not through unreliable official institutions), to support women stricken by the disaster and their families. These are women who provide for their families, have lost loved ones, or lost their jobs and homes.
1371.This is the number of calls Kafa has received during the month of June. Yet again, as has been the case for many months now, it exceeds the number of calls received during the previous month.

After they were locked in the homes of their employer under the Kafala (sponsorship) system; domestic workers are now stranded in Lebanon as a result of the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Lebanon has turned into a large prison far away from their own home.

"I am afraid. I am afraid I’ll be separated from my children, scared I will be thrown on the street. I cannot live in this nightmare any longer." This is the state in which women who contact Kafa’s support center are living.

« A woman was beaten up by her brother and kicked out of the house. She is now on the street. » « A woman is now being physically assaulted in her own house. »

« He took away my one-week-old son. » « A man beat up his wife with a rolling pin and broke her arm. He left the house where she stayed with her children. »

In April, a Nigerian domestic worker, who has been in Lebanon for three months, threw herself from the window. Her fall resulted in numerous bone fractures and she had to be taken to a hospital. She suffered from a mental disorder according to the investigation led upon Kafa’s request. After having spent a week at the hospital, she couldn't extend her stay since her insurance company stopped covering the fees and there was no association willing to do so.

Amal found a house to shelter her, however, many other victims of abuse don’t have anywhere to go due to the current situation. One woman used to find refuge at her sister’s house, in times of need, but this time, her sister could not receive her, for fear of catching the Coronavirus. Furthermore, the shelters that usually host women victims of violence are not receiving new cases, according to Kafa’s sources, for the same reason.
“They look at us like we were the Virus itself.” Those were the words of a Syrian woman during one of the weekly social support sessions that Kafa has been organizing for the past three weeks via WhatsApp. The sessions are attended by 142 Syrian women from 65 camps in Northern Bekaa.