(Washington, DC) – Governments across the Middle East should reform the kafala (sponsorship) system that gives sponsoring employers substantial control over workers and leaves workers vulnerable to situations of trafficking and forced labor, Human Rights Watch said today. The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report, released today, ranked several countries in the region in its two lowest possible categories for efforts to combat human trafficking.
(New York) – Kuwaiti lawmakers should include domestic workers under a major new labor law, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law would toughen penalties for private companies that abuse their workers, but would not extend its protections to the country’s 600,000 migrant domestic workers. The law is scheduled for a vote in the National Assembly on December 6, 2009.
(Beirut) – The high death toll of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, from unnatural causes, shows the urgent need to improve their working conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the official steering committee tasked with improving the situation of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon to investigate the root causes of these deaths and develop a concrete national strategy to reduce them.