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Inquiry: Global Flagship Report on Migrant Domestic Workers

Inquiry: Global Flagship Report on Migrant Domestic Workers

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by IDWFED published Feb 05, 2016 12:00 AM
Contributors: Mariela Acuña
Lived experiences versus portrayed experiences: the uses of social networking among female Malagasy migrant domestic workers in Lebanon

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Research reports, working paper

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Despite the ban imposed by their government in the year 2010, there is a constant influx of women from Madagascar arriving to Lebanon to work in the domestic sector. At present, there are around 4.000 Malagasy women who, in the last years, have entered the country subverting the laws with the complicity of some unscrupulous local recruitment agencies. Not even the negative gossip easily found on the Internet deters these women from coming in large numbers, in a phenomenon that is also evident among other communities that suffer a similar ban such as the Philippines and Ethiopia.

The prohibition has its origin in the harsh reality that migrant domestic workers must face in Lebanon, which goes from the lack of decent working conditions to a potential basis for human trafficking.

But even with such an appalling scenario, the number of female migrant domestic workers remains steady each year, with a current estimation of around 250.000 people working among a population of 4 million Lebanese.

The answers for this occurrence may lie not only in the current worldwide phenomenon of female migration, or even in the economic necessity that pushes these women to seek for employment opportunities abroad. There is another, more subtle and plausible explanation that goes in hand with the modern zeitgeist of social networking and the impact it has in people’s perception of reality.

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