20 July, 2006

Asians Trapped in Lebanon

While Western states are evacuating civilians from Lebanon, Asian domestic workers are, as usual, trapped. Ellen Tordesillas says 34,000 Filipino’s are in the country.:

It’s ironic that the Filipinos in Lebanon, who now are scampering for safety amidst the Israeli bombing of Hezbollah places in the war-torn country, went there because they were escaping poverty in the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs places the number of Filipinos in Lebanon at 34,000. Majority, some 25,000, are domestic helpers while the rest are employees in hotels, UN organizations or married to Lebanese nationals.

Other countries, mainly the Americans,Australians, and Europeans are evacuating their nationals. Yet Philippine officials are still talking of moving Filipinos to “pre-designated safe areas.” It’s pathetic.

At Sepia Mutiny, it is noted that 93,000 Sri Lankans, including 86,000 domestic workers, are similarly stranded.:

… the case that stands out is Sri Lanka, with an estimated 93,000 nationals in Lebanon of whom 86,000 are women employed as domestic labor.
According to a recent article in Middle East Report, Sri Lankan domestic workers have become ubiquitous in Lebanon. You won’t be surprised to learn that the employment process is shady and the workers often mistreated.

Given the number of people involved, the conditions on the ground, the fact that many workers don’t have papers, and the expected resistance of employers to allow their domestics to leave, it’s likely that more than a few young Sri Lankan women will become “collateral damage” of the Israel-Hezbollah war.

by @ 10:02 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Philippines, South Asia

One Response to “Asians Trapped in Lebanon”

  1. The Great Indian Mutiny Says:

    I think the 93,000 figure is wrong. The Indian Embassy and Navy is working to get Indians, Sri Lankas and Nepalese out of the country and accroding to them the number is less than 10,000.

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