Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Foreign maids in Lebanon

"In Lebanon, a new maid-training academy claims to provide a much-needed education for domestic workers who have little experience with etiquette and cannot speak the language of their employers. The House Keeper Training Academy caters to foreigners who come from as far off as South Asian and Africa to work as maids and housekeepers. A four-day training session costs $180.
Critics say the school misattributes maid-employer problems in Lebanon and across the Middle East. In reality, they contend, maids are too often the victims of unreported abuse that has nothing to do with language barriers or work experience. The mistreatment is more commonly the result of employers and agencies taking advantage of undocumented workers.
Often Lebanon’s domestic workers arrive illegally and unaware of their rights, leaving them fully dependant on their employers. While many of the country’s 200,000 foreign domestic workers may be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to the nature of their work, those who are working without documentation are especially susceptible to physical and sexual abuse, underpayment, overwork, and other forms of mistreatment." (thanks Ali)