Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Lebanon
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Lebanon, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a7323.html [accessed 30 March 2015]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Lebanon has made limited progress since the release of the 2009 TIP Report due, in part, to parliamentary inaction before the June 2009 elections and the lack of a government from June until November. The Ministry of Justice completed its review of a draft anti-trafficking law, which is pending approval by the newly formed cabinet. A labor code amendment to extend legal protections to foreign workers was reviewed by the National Steering Committee and transmitted to the Ministry of Labor for submission to the cabinet. A new standard or "unified" contract for domestic workers, provided in the March 2009 amendment to Lebanon's labor code, has yet to be translated into the native languages of migrant laborers; domestic workers must still sign the contract in Arabic – a language most cannot read – upon arrival in Beirut. The government made no effort during the reporting period to enforce its law prohibiting the confiscation of foreign maids' passports by the General Security (SG) – the government agency responsible for the entry, residency, and departure of foreign workers – or employers upon entry into the country.
The government has yet to prosecute any cases of forced labor against an employer. In July, the general prosecutor for the Mount Lebanon region began referring victims of trafficking to NGOs for assistance rather than prosecuting the victims for crimes that resulted from their being trafficked. In October, the government established a working committee to draft standard operating procedures to guide the SG in indentifying victims of trafficking among administrative detainees held at the SG's detention center in Beirut, referring them to NGO-provided protective services, and tracking detainee cases to enable more efficient and timely processing. NGOs report some improvement in the SG's identifying and handling of trafficking victims due to recent officer training programs.