Lebanon is notorious for its [mis]treatment of foreign maids in the country. Every year dozens of maids kill themselves out of desperation to escape their cruel bosses in the land that prides itself on being the “Paris of the Middle East.”
Some maids are even killed by employers. Either way, the Lebanese police could care less and every time just simply collect the body and whether he kills herself or is murdered the police report always assigns suicide as the cause of death. There simply is no penalty for abuse of maids in Lebanon. Last time, I checked France has quite impressive labor law.
Just take a look at this article in Naharnet, Affilate of the al-Nahar right-wing sectarian Christian newspaper:
“A Philippine house helper has been charged with attempted murder after beating her employer with a baseball bat while she was asleep. The worker was sentenced to three years in prison and liable for LL 15,000,000 for damage caused.”
She’s sentenced to three years in prison for beating her boss. But bosses who kill a maid get a pat on the back from the police force. Naharnet managed to forget to explain as to why a maid might lash out against an employer.
These articles might help:
“In a separate incident, a fourth Sri Lankan tried to commit suicide at her country’s embassy in Hazmiyeh after fleeing her employers’ house Tuesday evening.
News reports on Wednesday said the Sri Lankan helper was being treated for wounds and fractures she suffered after throwing herself from the second floor of the embassy building. She is in critical condition.”
“”My maid is extremely ugly, I can’t fight the urge to slap her when I see her early in the morning,” boasts a Lebanese trader from Ain Anoub village just outside Beirut. He laughs.
It gets worse. A recent report by Human Rights Watch disclosed that at least 95 migrant domestic workers have died in Lebanon since January 2007. About 40 of the cases were classified suicides. And 24 were described as workers falling from high-rise buildings, often in an attempt to escape their employers.
Having Sri Lankan, Philippine and Ethiopian workers at home is a matter of social status in Lebanon, and very much the norm. Most earn less than the 300 dollars monthly minimum wage. ”
“Human rights campaigners say the danger to maids in Lebanon is not so much political conflict but from abuse.
Human Rights Watch says most of Lebanon’s domestic workers, who originate primarily from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, remain unprotected by labour laws and are subject to exploitation and frequent abuse by employers and agencies.
At least 95 foreign maids are reported to have died in Lebanon since January 2007.
Forty deaths were classified by embassies as suicides and 24 were caused by falls from high buildings.”
Hum? Now why would a maid be upset? Lebanon’s treatment of maids is despicable and makes a mockery of the claim boosted by Lebanon’s bourgeois that Lebanon is some extraordinary civilized county.
A final note, these articles are nothing compared to what one can find in Arabic language sources about the deaths of maids in Lebanon. Fortunately many Lebanese care document such abuses. For those who can read Arabic, I suggest checking out the website of al-akhbar newspaper and just go a search and you’ll finds numerous articles on the abuse of maids.