Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi and representatives of Caritas Lebanon (R) and International Labor Organization (L) hold a news conference in Beirut on Friday, June 19, 2015. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Domestic workers in Lebanon now have a hotline to call in case their employers violate any of their rights, Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi announced Friday.The poor working conditions of domestic workers have been a major point of contention between numerous rights groups and the Labor Ministry in recent years.Reports by Human Rights Watch, Open Society Foundations and other organizations have found that the majority of domestic workers in Lebanon have been subjected to illegal practices such as having their passports confiscated by their employers and not receiving any time off. Several reports have also highlighted that foreign domestic workers suffer from inadequate salaries, lack of basic worker rights, physical abuse and isolation, which in extreme cases have led to domestic workers taking their own lives. Azzi, who is also the deputy chief of the right-wing Kataeb party, denied that workers are not treated well in Lebanon, saying workers would have stopped immigrating to the country in that case.
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