Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lebanon: "Forced labor, withholding of passports, nonpayment of wages, threat of arrest & deportation, restrictions on movement, physical assault. .... & the government’s 'Artiste visa' program"

"... Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The country is also a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, Madagascar, Congo, Togo, Cameroon, and Nigeria, who travel to Lebanon with the assistance of recruitment agencies to work in domestic service, are often subjected to conditions indicative of forced labor, including withholding of passports, nonpayment of wages, threat of arrest and deportation, restrictions on movement, verbal abuse, and physical assault. .... The government’s artiste visa program facilitates the entry of women from Eastern Europe, the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and Tunisia on three-month visas to work as dancers in Lebanon’s adult entertainment industry ...  Some Syrian women may be forced to engage in street prostitution, and underage Syrian girls are reportedly brought to Lebanon for the purpose of prostitution, including through the guise of early marriage....
The Government of Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these modest measures, the government did not show evidence of increasing overall efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Lebanon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year...."

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