You see those Tumblr-style quotes about judging a person’s character, by how they treat people who work in the service industry, such a server at a restaurant, or a retail employee. In Lebanon, a good way to judge how humane and compassionate someone is, is how they treat the tens of thousands of migrant workers who raise their kids and run their homes.
Lebanon’s Kafala system is a disgrace, and borders on government-sanctioned modern-day slavery. Domestic workers get their passports confiscated, their freedom of movement restricted, no days off, 20-hour work days and incredibly low wage.
Just this month, a Lebanese security officer was seen beating two migrant workers, and the government’s response was to deport the two women assaulted, instead of bring the aggressor to justice. They even sent us spam SMS messages to try and sugarcoat that grave injustice they committed, stating the man was in the armed forces, as if that makes what he did any less heinous…
Today, Fe-Male, a Lebanese NGO launched this powerful campaign that’s a reminder that a very big chunk of the population in Lebanon, lives in conditions no decent human being would accept. Everyone deserves a day off. Everyone deserves fair working hours. Everyone deserves adequate compensation for their work. No one should be robbed of their rights, simply for seeking job opportunities to support their loved ones back home.
The Kafala system needs to stop, and grotesque things like deporting migrant workers’ children, must never happen again. At a time when everyone seems to be forgetting their compassion and humanity, you should never lose sight of the injustice our society and government deals upon its most vulnerable members, and do something to change that. I hope the migrant community in Lebanon continues their noble fight for basic rights and justice, and that they will always find an ally in their struggle with us, Lebanese folks who unlike that disgusting mother who complained about a Sudanese child being enrolled at a daycare center, do not let racism get in the way of their humanity.

Blog post By Gino Raidy about Fe-Male’s Campaign: