Vagaries in the Management of Migrant Domestic Workers from the Philippines: A Case Study from Lebanon
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The chapter provides a brief overview of labour migration of women from the Philippines to Lebanon, beginning with nurses in the 1980s (during the civil war), followed by live-in domestic workers from the 1990s (post-civil war) and their evacuation during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. The importance of labour emigration for the Philippines economy and the particularly entrepreneurial policy of maximizing labour remittances are shown as a countervailing pressure against periods of restrictions and bans on deploying Filipinas to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries due to abuse and exploitation. The role of the government of the Philippines in regulating the deployment of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is given more prominence in this analysis compared with other accounts of the topic. Of particular importance are the ways in which the stringent protective regulations in the recruitment of domestic workers, such as the minimum wage requirement, are circumvented. The chapter concludes with an account of the unresolved deaths of four domestic workers from the Philippines in 2004 that involved the Philippines embassy in Beirut and resulted in the recalling of their ambassador back to Manila.
KeywordsInternational migration Domestic workers The Philippines Lebanon Domestic worker deaths
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