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This Is Lebanon

Toronto, Canada
Joined February 2019

We aid abused domestic workers in Lebanon (mainly from Africa and Sth Asia) by counselling, escape assistance, safe house, and threatening to expose abusive employers so they pay and free their worker

Presence in: Canada, Lebanon
Focus: Corruption, Criminal Justice, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Health, Labor & Employment

Migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are subject to a set of administrative practices called ‘kafala’ (the Arabic word for sponsorship) whereby the sponsor, usually their employer, is responsible and in full control of their visa and legal status. Under the kafala system, it is impossible for a worker to change employers without the sponsor’s permission leaving the worker extremely vulnerable to exploitation. The abuses essentially legalized under the kafala system have been many and well-documented. It was in response to these abuses that This Is Lebanon (TIL) was formed. Since formation on Labour Day, 1 May 2017, TIL has handled some very prominent cases e.g. the 10 year enslavement of Halima by a prominent Lebanese politician (https://thisislebanon.org/general-abuse/halima-10-years-in-slavery-to-ibtissam-saade/), the failed escape of Lensa from Eleanore Couture, an internationally renowned haute couture company (https://thisislebanon.org/embassies/eleanore-couture-runs-a-house-of-horror/). Lensa has been released and we will shortly be releasing a documentary testimony of torture. We have been able to successfully pressure many employers to release their slaves and in many instances have been able to get them sent home with their salaries paid. Our goal is to expose the abusers and eventually pressure the Lebanese authorities to bring domestic workers under the protection of labour laws. We know we are being effective as the Lebanese Security Forces Cyber Crimes Unit are trying to find us.

People Associated With This Organization

Dipendra Uprety

Canada  
This Is Lebanon
Joined February 2019
Interests: Access to Information, Corruption, Criminal Justice, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Health, Labor & Employment
Dipendra Uprety was born in Nepal in 1980. In 1998, aged 18, he moved to Lebanon where he was employed in the hospitality industry. While in Lebanon he met and married Priya, a domestic worker, also from Nepal. Together, they were involved in voluntarily assisting the Nepalese community by visiting ill-treated and battered domestic workers in the hospitals and prisons.

Because of Dipendra’s work, he was made a representative of the Nepali Consulate. His wife was a committed activist and volunteer with the consulate as well. In 2012, they emigrated to Canada where they have continued to be active in fighting for human rights and justice for migrant domestic workers.
https://thisislebanon.org/about/
Dipendra Uprety is the network champion (main point of contact) for This Is Lebanon.

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