The lawyers argue that the treatment to which the worker was subject constitutes the “crimes of slavery, slave trading, trafficking in persons, forced labor, deprivation of liberty and withholding personal documents, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and torture.” The defendants, if found guilty, may face imprisonment of up to ten years according the Lebanese Penal Code.
An estimated 250,000 migrant domestic workers work in Lebanon under the infamous Kafala system (Sponsorship). Under Kafala System, the employer sponsors the worker’s legal status in the country. Kafala system is seen as an abusive system prohibiting workers from resigning without the consent of their employers. It also allows employers to withhold their workers’ passports.