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UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
News

Reinstate Contract; Amend Labor Law

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s State Shura Council, the country’s top administrative court, delivered a sharp blow to migrant domestic worker rights by suspending the implementation of a new standard unified contract, Amnesty International and Human Rights…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Adopt Rights-Respecting Contract for Migrant Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s Labor Ministry should urgently adopt a new standard unified contract that respects and protects the rights of migrant domestic workers as a first step toward abolishing the abusive kafala (sponsorship) system, Human Rights Watch…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Prevent Rapists From Escaping Punishment by Marrying Victims

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s parliament should repeal a penal code provision that allows rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament should also amend other provisions to adequately criminalize sexual assault…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Crackdown on Activists Undermines Fight for Rights

Lebanon marked International Human Rights Day on Saturday by deporting Sujana Rana, a Nepalese migrant domestic worker involved in the struggle for the rights of migrant domestic workers. Her arrest and deportation suggests…
Sujana Rana being deported to Nepal from Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport.
Report
Summary On January 25, 2008, during the explosion of post-election violence in Kenya, four men beat and brutally gang-raped Apiyo P., a 53-year-old mother of five. She told Human Rights Watch how the rape continues to affect her:…
News
“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News
“We women must respect ourselves. You cannot stay with a man drinking until 3 a.m.” This was the response from Mary Wambui, a member of parliament, to recent protests by female legislators and women’s rights activists over accusations that Gideon Mwiti,…
News

Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…
News

Death of domestic worker renews call for basic rights

Alem Dechasa-Desisa’s death at age 33 would have probably gone unnoticed – like that of so many other migrants – if not for a widely circulated video showing her being physically assaulted by a man, later identified as labor recruiter Ali Mahfouz, at the…
News

Investigate Recent Suicide; Enact Labor, Immigration Protections

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities should act quickly to reform restrictive visa regulations and adopt a labor law on domestic work to address high levels of abuse and deaths among migrant domestic workers, a group of eight concerned civil society groupssaid…
News

Lebanese Laws Need Further Overhaul to Curb Gender-Based Violence

(Beirut) ­– Lebanon’s repeal of a criminal code provision that mitigates sentences for so-called honor crimes is an encouraging step to address gender-based violence. The Lebanese parliament should remove and amend other criminal provisions that…
Report
Without Protection How the Lebanese Justice System Fails Migrant Domestic Workers Executive Summary Recommendations Methodology I. Background A. Migration to Lebanon for Domestic Work B.…
News
As told by Nadim Houry, director of Human Rights Watch's Beirut office It was 2008, and along Hamra Street, one of Beirut's main thoroughfares, women's rights demonstrators had placed a series of identical cutouts shaped like women's bodies. Painted red…