Since our establishment in 2017, we have chosen to keep the controversial name This is Lebanon.
The goal of our organization is not to discredit Lebanon. The perpetrators of abuse exposed on our page in no way represent all Lebanese. This site would be inoperable if it were not for the many Lebanese fighting alongside the migrant worker community to end kafala and its abuses, at times even risking their own safety.
But the unavoidable truth is that government-sanctioned and government-enforced slavery persists in Lebanon. Lebanese journalists and reporters have been threatened, interrogated, and had cases brought against them by the government for publishing our stories. Lebanese supporters have been terrorized, bullied, and harassed by the Cyber Crimes Unit for simply sharing our stories. We brought our stories to the attention of the nation and the judiciary sent emergency orders to block our website.
In confronting this reality, we believe that denial will not solve the problem. For tens of thousands of migrant workers, the kafala system is Lebanon. We care about the reputation of Lebanon, which is why we are advocating for change and encouraging more people to speak out. We believe in amplifying the voices of those most affected by the system, as well as the countless Lebanese that are actively working to dismantle it. We believe that having Lebanese join us in the national shaming of the country for its institutionalized slavery honours Lebanon. It shows the world that there are Lebanese who are demanding change and will face the shame head on until the nation puts a stop to this.
These people are our heroes, and this is Lebanon as well.
There are approximately 400,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. They are mostly women who come from African and Asian countries and work in private households.
In 2008 Human Rights Watch reported one death per week among young women working as migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. By 2017 Lebanon’s own General Security figures show that number had doubled to two deaths per week.
All migrant workers are excluded from Lebanese labour law by Article 7; they are governed instead by a set of ‘administrative practices’ known as kafala, which increases their risk of suffering labour exploitation, physical and sexual abuse, forced labour and trafficking.
Studies show that more than 94% of Lebanese employers confiscate the passports of their employees, despite it being a violation of international law.
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