The impact of Lebanon’s dire economic situation and the aftermath of the devastating Beirut explosion on domestic workers is being amplified after a video of a woman abandoning her maid near the Kenyan embassy in the capital went viral.
Lebanese activists have been sharing a video of a woman in her luxury car abandoning her maid on the street in front of the Kenyan consulate in the capital Beirut while other Kenyan women shout their anger at what they were seeing.
“She brought her here and the girl is sick and she refused to pay her, and she brought her here. How can you drop a person into the street? It is haram [forbidden]. The girl is complaining ‘I am sick’ and the woman came and dropped her here in the streets,” one woman said.
The viral video showed the abandoned domestic worker can be seen in distress holding her personal belongings in a garbage bag.
The video, taken by a passerby has been widely spread showing the domestic worker crying because she was unable to do anything as she found herself both without work or shelter.
Foreign domestic workers have been paying the price for the economic crisis in Lebanon due to the shortage of the dollar caused by an economic slowdown. Many domestic workers are demanding their salaries at a time when many Lebanese who recruit them are unable to pay salaries in dollars themselves.
According to Reuters, thousands of foreign workers in Lebanon, some without legal documentation, are out of work and left stranded by border closures due to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Their plight has been compounded by the deadly explosion at Beirut port on August 4.