COMMON PROBLEMS IN DIFFERENT REGIONS: ILO LEBANON INVITES JWB TO SHARE EXPERTISE ON CROSS-BORDER CIVIL LITIGATION

COMMON PROBLEMS IN DIFFERENT REGIONS: ILO LEBANON INVITES JWB TO SHARE EXPERTISE ON CROSS-BORDER CIVIL LITIGATION

The International Labour Organization (ILO) in Lebanon invited Justice Without Borders (JWB) to share its expertise on cross-border civil litigation with Beirut-based advocates earlier this year.

Similar to Singapore, Lebanon is a host country for over 250,000 migrant domestic workers, although mostly from Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia.

These workers are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, ranging from unpaid wages to verbal and physical abuse. When they return home, they face the same problems in claiming rightful compensation from errant employers and agencies back in Lebanon.

The ILO’s stated hope is to build similar lifelines to legal aid for those who worked in Lebanon, but have since returned home. JWB’s Executive Director Douglas MacLean thus introduced the organisations’ experience on cross-border civil compensation in East and Southeast Asia.

Attendees included 15 Lebanon-based leaders from organisations providing legal and social support services to migrant domestic workers, including Caritas and Legal Agenda. The participants then discussed some of the practical issues they faced in cross-border civil claims. These included problems specific to Lebanon, such as issues with the legal system and higher levels of illegal deployment, to more common problems, such as lack of contact with reliable organisations in the home countries.

The event highlighted both the universal problems in seeking cross-border access to just compensation, as well as the very specific problems each migration route faces. JWB looks forward to seeing how the ILO’s project in the Middle East develops, and stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed.