Ghanaian maid abuse in Lebanon

An African migrant working as a maid in the Middle East recounts the abuse she suffered
Here on Newsday we’ve been reporting on how domestic workers from Africa have been left stranded in Lebanon amid a financial crisis that has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. 

For years rights groups have been appealing for better conditions for domestic workers trapped in what is known as the Kafala system - the import of unskilled migrant workers into the Gulf and surrounding countries - which leaves them vulnerable to poor, often abusive conditions, minimal pay and limited means of returning home.  

One of those women who left Ghana for Lebanon to work as a domestic helper but suffered appalling conditions told me her story. We're not naming her for her own safety.

(Pic: A black woman rests her arms on a white bed sheet; Credit: AFP)
Ethiopian maids dumped outside Beirut embassy
Domestic workers have been left homeless and unpaid amid an ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon, heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.
Map of Lebanon

Provides information about Lebanon, including key events and facts about a country which has often been at the centre of Middle Eastern conflicts

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Nigerian woman put on sale refuses to return home

The advertisement put up on Facebook
The advertisement put up on Facebook

The Nigerian woman who was advertised for sale on Facebook in Lebanon has refused to return home, according to the head of Nigeria's diaspora commission.

The woman was listed for sale at $1,000 (£793). She was rescued by the Lebanese authorities and taken to the Nigerian embassy in Beirut.

The advert caused an outcry in Nigeria and the man suspected of involvement in the advert was arrested.

The 30-year-old woman now says she has found another job in Lebanon.

Commission head Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said she tried to convince to return home home but she refused.

"Even the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Oyo State, where she is from, spoke to her. We just hope that Nigerians going to work in Lebanon will be properly treated and not treated as slaves," Ms Dabiri-Erewa said.

She said the Lebanese government had brought back 69 out of 79 Nigerians who were in Lebanon. The 69 are currently in quarantine.

The Lebanese embassy stopped issuing visas to Nigerians seeking domestic work in Lebanon after the incident.

Lebanon to shelter abandoned Ethiopian workers

BBC World Service

The ministry of labour in Lebanon says it will give shelter to Ethiopian domestic workers abandoned without pay by their employers.

An initial group of 35 Ethiopian women camping outside their consulate in Beirut has been housed in a hotel by the Lebanese authorities after a public outcry over their plight.

But more are continuing to arrive outside the consulate as the Lebanese economic crisis intensifies.

The authorities have promised to take action against their employers.

Last month, dozens of Ethiopian women were repatriated. A majority of the quarter of a million domestic workers in Lebanon are from Ethiopia.