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J'ai honte d'etre Libanais - Ashamed to be Lebanese

L'arbalette

Well-Known Member
Article du Monde (M Blog) du 5 juin 2014

J'ai honte d'etre Libanais


Au Liban, des employées domestiques étrangères vivent un enfer

Appelée "kafala", une forme de parrainage obligatoire pour les employées de maison venues de l'étranger autorise de nombreux abus au Liban, voire un esclavage moderne. Des ONG se mobilisent pour le respect des droits fondamentaux de ces femmes. Sans guère de succès jusqu'à présent.

« Animal » : tel est le surnom que lui a donné sa patronne à son arrivée au Liban, en février 2013. Pendant dix mois, Julienne, une Togolaise de 36 ans, a vécu un enfer. « Au début, on ne me donnait que du pain, une fois par jour. Au bout de quelques semaines, je n’ai plus eu de pain. Pour manger, je fouillais en cachette dans la poubelle quand la famille avait fini son repas, pour y trouver quelque chose », explique, au bord des larmes, cette ancienne employée de maison à la silhouette chétive. « Quand je suis partie du Togo, je pesais 62 kilos », dit-elle. Elle n’en faisait plus que 32 lorsque l'ONG catholique Caritas, qui vient en aide aux travailleurs migrants au Liban, l’a recueillie en décembre.

Selon l'organisation de défense des droits de l'homme Human Rights Watch (HRW), le Liban compterait quelque 200 000 employées de maison venues de l'étranger et travaillant dans des conditions souvent difficiles, à Beyrouth mais également dans des petits villages reculés de la Bekaa, à l’est du pays. D’après Noha Roukoss, responsable de la sensibilisation et de la formation des migrantes chez Caritas, il y aurait en outre 50 000 employées domestiques travaillant sans titre de séjour sur le territoire libanais.

La plupart de ces femmes, qu'elles soient employées légalement ou illégalement, viennent des Philippines, d’Éthiopie, du Sri Lanka ou de Madagascar. Elles ont toutes quitté leur pays et leur famille dans l’espoir d’un avenir meilleur. Un espoir rapidement déçu pour Julienne. Elle a été non seulement privée de nourriture, mais aussi enfermée et battue : « Je n’avais pas le droit de sortir, ni de téléphoner à qui que ce soit. Même à la maison, je n’avais pas le droit de parler au mari ou aux deux enfants de ma patronne qui me battait chaque jour, à la moindre occasion ».

Ces abus s'exercent dans le cadre d'une pratique locale appelée kafala, une forme de parrainage qui impose aux employées de maison d'avoir un « sponsor » pour entrer légalement au Liban. Ce « sponsor » – souvent le particulier qui les embauche – est considéré comme le garant de leur statut, y compris en cas de fuite. Les employeurs confisquent donc souvent les passeports des nouvelles recrues, dès leur arrivée, ce qui les expose particulièrement aux risques d’exploitation. Ce parrainage exclut du droit du travail libanais ces employées qui ne bénéficient d'aucune protection légale en cas de problème.

Les abus peuvent aller très loin. « Un jour, ma patronne a vu que je mangeais dans la poubelle, alors elle s’est mise à me frapper très violemment », poursuit Julienne, la voix tremblante. Elle évoque aussi « les nuits sans dormir à repasser ou à nettoyer » et cet autre épisode : « J’ai été enfermée dans une pièce noire, sans fenêtre, pendant trois jours, sans eau ni électricité. Quand ma patronne est venue m’ouvrir, elle m’a ordonné de reprendre le travail aussitôt. »

La maltraitance que subissent certaines domestiques les pousse parfois jusqu'au suicide. Début avril, à Tyr, une ville côtière du sud du Liban, une employée d’origine éthiopienne s’est jetée d’un balcon du troisième étage. En 2008 déjà, HRW avait répertorié des décès de travailleuses domestiques dans le pays et avait constaté qu’il y avait eu, en moyenne, une mort par semaine attribuable « à des causes non naturelles ».

A force d'être sous-alimentée et maltraitée, Julienne a fini par être très affaiblie. Un matin de novembre 2013, ses employeurs ont décidé de la ramener à l’aéroport. « Ils m’ont dit que je n’étais plus bonne à rien », se souvient-elle. Elle travaillait dans cette famille depuis dix mois mais n'a reçu que deux mois de salaire. Malade, Julienne a erré deux jours à l’aéroport de Beyrouth, dans l'incapacité d'acheter un billet d'avion pour rentrer au Togo. Finalement, le patron de l’agence qui l’avait fait venir au Liban est venu la chercher pour la conduire à l’hôpital, où elle a été soignée pendant quelques jours. A sa sortie, en décembre, elle a été accueillie dans l’un des refuges de Caritas.

Au mois de mai, une manifestation de ces travailleuses migrantes a été organisée par huit ONG spécialisées dans la protection de ces femmes, afin de réclamer l'abolition de la kafala et la reconnaissance de leur statut dans la loi libanaise. Ces associations essayent d’alerter les autorités sur le même thème depuis de nombreuses années. Moins de 200 personnes se mobilisent, bon an mal an. Certaines activistes en concluent que « le Liban est un pays qui tolère l'esclavage moderne ».

Le cauchemar de Julienne a pris fin. « J’ai récupéré des forces », dit-elle, avec un timide sourire. La justice a été saisie et une enquête est en cours. Julienne garde toutefois des séquelles de son douloureux passé : « Je pleure tous les jours en repensant à ce qui s’est passé, je n’oublierai jamais. »
 

Dr ta7seen

New Member
there are lebanese people suffering more than this worker from abroad, believe me, you probably live in a bubble... shouldn't we help the lebanese first then help her ? at least she gets to be featured online bass walla 3eyb iza bit rou7 w tchouf malla 3ishe 3eyshina kam lebneneh bi kam manati2 you will regret according so much effort and time to some issues regarding workers... i'm not a racist i'm just factual and fair...and besides, it is not a reason to ne ashamed.
 

The Jade

Legendary Member
zhe2na men hol articles.

Had they been talking about your rights, you would use these articles as your daily bread to spread the word.
But since these tackle "only" migrant workers, who, according to many lebanese are not worthy of any human compassion, then you get bored.

These are crimes against humanity, it shows the type of savagery that some lebanese collectively decide to adhere to.
It's a shame on our country and our people.
 

NMA

Well-Known Member
Had they been talking about your rights, you would use these articles as your daily bread to spread the word.
But since these tackle "only" migrant workers, who, according to many lebanese are not worthy of any human compassion, then you get bored.

These are crimes against humanity, it shows the type of savagery that some lebanese collectively decide to adhere to.
It's a shame on our country and our people.


you think b adim aw b akhir ?

We've been reading and hearing those stories for more than 30 years now. Slavery wont stop , its ****ed up but we have to live with it.

Not much has changed and not much will.

it's human nature.
 

L'arbalette

Well-Known Member
I don't know what is worse, the story in the article or some of the reactions to it in this thread. How can anyone find this "normal" or yzh'a from it? I mean we're not talking about solving the Israeli / Palestinian problem. We're talking about seemingly "normal" Lebanese treating other human being like animals... When I was told that Arabs (including Lebanese of course) were the worst racists, I didn't believe it.... now I do...

And for those who have similar stories about Lebanese being treated "worse" abroad, i.e. beaten, locked up in dark rooms, not given food, deprived of their liberty, etc., please do share...
 

Shev

Well-Known Member
there are lebanese people suffering more than this worker from abroad, believe me, you probably live in a bubble... shouldn't we help the lebanese first then help her ? at least she gets to be featured online bass walla 3eyb iza bit rou7 w tchouf malla 3ishe 3eyshina kam lebneneh bi kam manati2 you will regret according so much effort and time to some issues regarding workers... i'm not a racist i'm just factual and fair...and besides, it is not a reason to ne ashamed.


are lebanese a better class than others? why do we keep labeling human beings based on anything? to make ourselves feel better or just to distinguish ourselves? usually people who go down to labeling any human being based on gender, nationality, religion, ... are low class people who haven't accomplished anything in their lives to be proud of, so they create this bubble of thoughts to make them feel special about themselves.
 

Dr ta7seen

New Member
are lebanese a better class than others? why do we keep labeling human beings based on anything? to make ourselves feel better or just to distinguish ourselves? usually people who go down to labeling any human being based on gender, nationality, religion, ... are low class people who haven't accomplished anything in their lives to be proud of, so they create this bubble of thoughts to make them feel special about themselves.

your interpretation of my statement is so inaccurate, i said more, suffering more and if you disagree then you are not being factual, that is why i said we should help them first and besides you should probably read some stories about akkar and see the real problem that people don't bat an eye about and don't even try to write about it online, teenage girls being beaten and imprisoned for backwards reasons...and much worse sometimes killed, i am not being racist, just factual as i have already stated
 

Shev

Well-Known Member
your interpretation of my statement is so inaccurate, i said more, suffering more and if you disagree then you are not being factual, that is why i said we should help them first and besides you should probably read some stories about akkar and see the real problem that people don't bat an eye about and don't even try to write about it online, teenage girls being beaten and imprisoned for backwards reasons...and much worse sometimes killed, i am not being racist, just factual as i have already stated


ok, i missed that and i apologies. lebanese or not, help anyone and everyone.
 

L'arbalette

Well-Known Member
your interpretation of my statement is so inaccurate, i said more, suffering more and if you disagree then you are not being factual, that is why i said we should help them first and besides you should probably read some stories about akkar and see the real problem that people don't bat an eye about and don't even try to write about it online, teenage girls being beaten and imprisoned for backwards reasons...and much worse sometimes killed, i am not being racist, just factual as i have already stated

Again, tell me about stories where people are beaten, deprived of food, locked in dark rooms and treated like slaves... I am all for helping... but when people turn a blind eye on this despicable modern day slavery just because Lebanese are suffering more (really?) and should get some sort of priority, I call bullshit and hypocrisy,


And by the way, I am from Akkar
 

Dr ta7seen

New Member
Again, tell me about stories where people are beaten, deprived of food, locked in dark rooms and treated like slaves... I am all for helping... but when people turn a blind eye on this despicable modern day slavery just because Lebanese are suffering more (really?) and should get some sort of priority, I call bullshit and hypocrisy,


And by the way, I am from Akkar

don't you watch the news ? BEIRUT: A woman allegedly beaten by her husband is in stable condition after being admitted to a hospital over the weekend, a women’s rights watchdog said Sunday.

Media reports over the weekend had said that Hussein Fatouni, 30, brutally attacked his wife Tamara Harisi, 22, Saturday evening, leaving bruises all over her face and body. He then sent a text message to her family asking them to come and “pick her up dead or alive.”

Harisi was admitted to Beirut’s Al-Zahraa Hospital, where she is receiving treatment. Women’s Rights Organization KAFA (Enough Violence and Exploitation) reported that Harisi was recovering.

Her sister contacted the Bir Hasan police station, south of Beirut, and reported the incident. The husband then handed himself in to the police and is being questioned.

Harisi’s sister told LBCI TV that it was not the first time that Tamara was physically abused. She said Fatouni had beaten his wife on several occasions before and even locked her up in the house one time and attempted to burn her alive.

The new domestic violence incident provoked criticism and condemnation on social media. After KAFA posted Harisi’s case on Facebook, it triggered dozens of comments.

“Wow, I can’t believe that we’re in 2014 and the violence is getting more aggressive, God bless you,” Nicole FN commented.

“The day I went to the police to report domestic violence in 2004 they laughed at me and told me we are in Lebanon and not in Europe, he [has] got all the rights. I think such a mentality needs 50 more years to evolve,” another comment from Jinane Malek said.

Lebanon has witnessed numerous domestic violence crimes recently, with several cases involving husbands accused of killing their wives.

A father was also accused of killing his 18-year-old girl in Akkar last week after he uncovered her plan to elope with her fiance.

In April, Lebanon passed a law aimed at protecting women from domestic violence. The law was first enforced last week when a husband who had allegedly been abusing his wife for over a year was detained.

The draft law to protect women from domestic violence was first submitted to Parliament in 2010, and a parliamentary subcommittee began studying it in May 2011, eventually finalizing its amendments in August 2012.


AND THIS


A pregnant woman was beaten by her husband, her brother-in-law and mother-in-law overnight on Thursday for allegedly losing the water bill.

Media reports said on Friday that Fatima al-Nashar might lose her baby after her husband Sultan Kas-ha, his brother Othman and their mother Naeima brutally hit her.

Fatima was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the Islamic hospital in Tripoli.

The Lebanese state doesn't include any article concerning domestic violence despite the fact that it covers other forms of physical abuse.

In November, KAFA (enough) Violence and Exploitation recently launched in partnership with the Internal Security Forces a campaign under the title, “We have a mission, If you're threatened, do not hesitate to call 112”, in an attempt to protect women subjected to domestic violence.

According to a statement by the NGO the campaign aims at “rebuilding trust between women victims of violence and the ISF, and informing the public of the ISF’s ongoing preparations to provide women with the protection they need.”


AND THIS

BEIRUT: A woman died in a Beirut hospital early Wednesday due to injuries she suffered when her husband allegedly beat her repeatedly with a pressure cooker, a security source told The Daily Star.

Mohammad al-Nhaily reportedly used the kitchen appliance to strike Manal al-Assi, a teacher, after a quarrel turned violent. The incident took place in front of their two daughters, Tala and Sara, while in their home in the Beirut neighborhood of Tariq al-Jadideh, the source said.

According to Assi’s brother, the neighbors heard the couple’s screams and called the local police station, only to be told by security personnel there that they couldn’t interfere in a family matter.

After beating Assi, Nhaily wrapped her in a carpet and tried to hide his crime, the brother told The Daily Star. But neighbors and members of Assi’s family who live nearby broke into the house and rushed her to nearby Makassed Hospital.

Nhaily, a carpenter, managed to flee while the neighbors and family members were preoccupied with Assi, the brother said.

However, attempts to save Assi’s life failed, and she died 12 hours after being admitted to the hospital as a result of a deadly hemorrhage, the security source said.

Assi’s family held a funeral in Ali ben Abi Taleb mosque Wednesday and laid her to rest in Martyrs Cemetery, with shots fired into the air in tribute.

Assi and Nhaily’s daughters are staying at their grandparents’ house for the time being.

Assi’s family has filed a complaint against their son-in-law based on the medical report and the coroner’s examination of her body.

Neighbors told The Daily Star that the couple usually led a quiet life, with such violent quarrels rare. They said things had changed lately after Nhaily took a second wife.

This latest fatality related to domestic violence comes as the family of another victim, Roula Yaacoub, continues to demand justice for their daughter, who they say was also beaten to death by her husband.

Yaacoub was found comatose at her home in Halba, Akkar, last July, and died upon arrival at the hospital. Yaacoub’s relatives and neighbors maintain that her husband beat her and their five daughters regularly.

However, the judiciary released a 13-page report last month that cleared Yaacoub’s husband, Karam al-Bazzi, of any role in her death.

there are more stories regarding the same issues
 

L'arbalette

Well-Known Member
don't you watch the news ? there are more stories regarding the same issues

I have seen some of these horrific stories and you can check my contributions to the relevant threads here on the forum... Unlike you, however, I don't think these crimes "absolve" us from trying to address the despicable and racist modern day slavery we effectively turn a blind eye on daily in Lebanon...

The point is not to pit one victim against the other, the point is to help all of them and condemn all violence. But your reaction, typically Lebanese by the way, is to say "well there are Lebanese suffering too, so why waste my time on a non-Lebanese... "

Anyway...
 

The Jade

Legendary Member
I don't know what is worse, the story in the article or some of the reactions to it in this thread. How can anyone find this "normal" or yzh'a from it? I mean we're not talking about solving the Israeli / Palestinian problem. We're talking about seemingly "normal" Lebanese treating other human being like animals... When I was told that Arabs (including Lebanese of course) were the worst racists, I didn't believe it.... now I do...

And for those who have similar stories about Lebanese being treated "worse" abroad, i.e. beaten, locked up in dark rooms, not given food, deprived of their liberty, etc., please do share...

Laws are being passed to protect migrant workers and in general to preserve human rights.
As you may have seen, domestic violence has been here for decades, but with the new law, some are being held accountable.

With every case, there is an outrage and international NGOs and countries are putting pressure on us to do something about it.
Now if you don't care, it's your right, but don't ask for any help if your children, brother, sister, mother will be beaten or raped.
 
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