Migrant Workers Hit by Lebanon Crises, U.N. Warns

Migrant workers in Lebanon have been hit hard by its multiple crises and half of them left jobless, the U.N. warned Wednesday, calling for voluntary returns to be scaled up. The combined effects of Lebanon’s economic collapse, the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s deadly Beirut port explosion have worsened already dire living conditions for migrant workers.

“As the economic situation continues to deteriorate and employment opportunities remain limited, migrants’ vulnerability to exploitation and abuse is likely to increase,” said Mathieu Luciano, the agency’s Lebanon chief.

Many are unable to pay for return flight and in some cases are not free to do so as a result of an infamous sponsorship system known as “Kafala” whereby they relinquish their passports to the agencies that find them work.

English | May 26, 2021

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