U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Lebanon
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||14 June 2004|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Lebanon, 14 June 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d81b11.html [accessed 24 July 2014]|
Lebanon (Tier 2)
Lebanon is a destination country for African and Asian women trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude, and to a lesser extent, Eastern European and Russian women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Many victims travel to Lebanon voluntarily and legally, but end up in coercive or forced labor conditions, or are subjected to physical and sexual abuse, physical confinement, withholding of wages, and confiscation of their passports.
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. The government does not have a national action plan to combat trafficking, nor does it have effective legislation to fight trafficking. These key anti-trafficking tools must be developed.
The Lebanese Government took minimal steps to prosecute traffickers in 2003, partly due to the absence of specific anti-trafficking laws. Lebanon this past year expressed its intention to draft and pass such a new law. Existing statutes address only some aspects of trafficking, including the deprivation of personal freedom by abduction and forced sexual intercourse outside of marriage. The Lebanese Government provided limited law enforcement data on arrests, prosecutions, convictions and sentences involving traffickers. In 2003, an employer was sentenced to 15 days' imprisonment for beating and burning her Filipino maid, a Lebanese sponsor of a Sri Lankan maid was ordered to pay compensation and repatriation expenses due to injuries inflicted by the employer, and 131 suspects were arrested for smuggling persons. Lebanese authorities also closed five drinking establishments and one massage parlor and issued 51 warnings to 30 adult clubs for non-compliance with regulations, including prostitution.
Lebanon has made modest progress in protecting victims of trafficking. It does not provide relief from deportation, shelter, or access to legal, medical, and psychological services. As a result, most trafficking victims tend to accept a cash settlement rather than confront their exploiters in court. The government cooperates with NGOs and allows them access to detention facilities so that they can provide legal services and counseling to victims. Lebanon also provides security for a U.S. Government-funded safe house for trafficking victims. It also often acts as mediator between victims and employers to resolve disputes and assists with voluntary repatriations. In November 2003, the government required employers to provide higher-value insurance to cover repatriation expenses of trafficking victims.
The Lebanese Government has taken some notable steps in the area of prevention. The government closed two employment agencies and signed a protocol with the Sri Lankan Government to ensure better working conditions for Sri Lankan nationals. In January 2004, it prohibited advertisements offering the services of foreign maids in an effort to combat the trafficking of unsuspecting women into situations of involuntary domestic servitude. Lebanon also regularly issues communiqués calling for Lebanese citizens to abide by the law that forbids the employment of workers without proper work and residency permits.