The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its consideration of the combined twenty-third to twenty-fourth periodic report of Lebanon after its Experts raised questions about the kafala system for migrant domestic workers, the absence of a definition of racial discrimination, and the treatment of refugees, among others.
ery year across the globe, thousands of women, men and children become victims of human trafficking. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human trafficking is the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit.” On International Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) calls on the Government of The Gambia to strengthen its efforts to curb human trafficking, listen to and prioritize the fundamental needs of survivors, and put in place robust recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration programs . The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way”.
Lebanon is currently suffering its most severe economic crisis since the Lebanese civil war of 1975–1990. After decades of theft, greed and incompetence among the country’s financial and political elite, as well as international actors, the currency lost over 80 percent of its value in a single year. Approximately half of the population is facing poverty. The crisis has also drawn global attention to the plight of the country’s many African and Asian female migrant domestic workers, who numbered upward of 300,000 prior to the collapse of the currency and nationwide protests in October 2019 this in a country of just over 4 million citizens.
French prosecutors have said they are investigating claims that a Saudi prince kept seven employees in a state of modern-day slavery at an apartment he owned outside of Paris.
The Le Parisien newspaper reported on Monday that an inquiry for human trafficking was opened after the women, most from the Philippines, filed complaints of modern-day slavery.
If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything over the past year, it is that crises, no matter how global they may be, are not experienced equally by everyone. In times of multiscalar crises of the magnitude currently being experienced in Lebanon, the absence of public policies centered around social justice has made access to basic human rights a privilege for many.
Lebanon is suffering massive fuel shortages amid the worsening economic crisis in the country. Long queues outside gas stations have sparked brawls, traffic jams, accidents on nearby roads and even gunfights.
What does it mean to exist in public and private space with our own free thoughts, inclinations, and expressions, without society and its laws forcing us to follow normative patterns in gender existence? Zahraa, my friend, wondered out loud during a private conversation between the two of us, adding: If society had not forced us to all this, would we have perhaps really known the true meaning of love — and what it means to love freely? Would we have been able to exist within our own complete selves? Ever since, her question has haunted me and occupied a large portion of my mind.