IMPRISONED: Lebanese activist detained

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Earlier this month two domestic workers were arrested in Lebanon. Their names are Sushila Rana and Roja Limbu. Reports from Walk Free’s partners on the ground suggest these arrests were due to the women’s support of domestic workers in the country, many of whom have been exploited.1 Sushila has since been forcibly deported back to Nepal without any legal advice or appeal, and Roja is still imprisoned.

Walk Free are requesting the Lebanese Government immediately free Roja Limbu and allow her legal representation.

Roja is now detained in prison and has been refused access to lawyers. The International Domestic Worker Federation, has been unable to talk to her since her arrest. This is a desperate situation and in a last effort to free Roja Walk Free are launching a petition calling on the Lebanese Government to release her without charge.

They have just two days before they plan to deliver the petition to the authorities in Lebanon.

Sushila and Roja are founding members of the Domestic Workers’ Union in Lebanon – the first union of its kind in the Middle East, where the kefala system leaves many migrant workers vulnerable to domestic servitude. They have dedicated their lives to standing up for domestic workers and supporting victims of domestic slavery.2 Now they are the ones being persecuted. The Lebanese Government refuse to recognise the Union and have criminalised attempts by migrant workers to voice concerns.3

The estimated 250,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are excluded from national labour laws that makes them extremely vulnerable to domestic slavery.4 Without activists like Sushila and Roja fighting for domestic worker rights on the ground, many migrant domestic workers would find themselves completely isolated in a country that does little to protect them.

Sign the petition here

Sources

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/12/13/lebanon-deports-domestic-worker-rights-organizer

http://idwfed.org/en/updates/global-idwf-is-deeply-saddened-and-outraged-by-the-recent-detention-of-two-nepali-domestic-workers-in-Lebanon

http://idwfed.org/en/updates/global-idwf-is-deeply-saddened-and-outraged-by-the-recent-detention-of-two-nepali-domestic-workers-in-Lebanon

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/12/13/lebanon-deports-domestic-worker-rights-organizer

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