lundi 18 décembre 2006

Caritas Lebanon celebrates International Migrant’s Day

In Lebanon, there are more than 150,000 migrants. Advocacy groups of which Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center is member try to influence and promote migration policies for a better protection to migrant’s rights. For over 5 years, the Center worked to promote and protect the rights of migrants in Lebanon with dignity and respect as basic values. We did this through the following activities:

More than 8000 migrant workers improved knowledge about their rights and responsibilities and enhanced their skills to defend these rights and to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation.

Around 3000 were served legally by the center lawyers defending and restituting their lost rights in court or out-court.

Approximately 3500 Lebanese heard migrant’s voice and were sensitized to their critical situation in Lebanon as well were faced with the abusive treatment considered as violation to their human rights.

Much efforts were headed towards advocating and disseminating information with key-institutions (Governments, recruitment agencies, Embassies, international organizations, etc…) to build the bridge between migrant workers rights and reality, specifically having more protective policies.

DECEMBER 18 is the International migrant’s day. This year, to celebrate it, the center participated in Radio 18-12, a one-day radio marathon. This project is the first-ever global one-day radio show connecting migrant communities worldwide to highlight their concerns and celebrate their achievements starting in Australia and terminating in the West coast of the Americas. On the 18th at 11:00am, we were guests to the morning show of Radio Liban Libre (local but international radio station) for an interactive on air interview of 40 minutes about the situation of migrant workers in Lebanon, the role of the center and various activities, the rights of migrant workers and perceptions as well responsibilities of employers and other relevant key-actors, legal issues and the importance of that day. The interview is online at

On the other hand, the centre celebrated the day with some activities with Lebanese public and detained migrants (migrant workers and refugees).

Recreational activities for the occasion with 500 detainees were prepared including:
- Participation to prepare the salad and gathering for special meals
- Animation in cells at the Detention Center (singing, dancing, games)
- Distribution of sweets
- Diffusing a movie in each cell.
- Supporting words to their rights and their dignity

In parallel, a tribute was given to migrant colleagues working with and at caritas as counselors from Ethiopia, Philippines, Srilanka and India for their hardship to assist and support all other staff.

Participatory learning activities took place with Lebanese youth and adults to improve their knowledge about rights of migrant workers but most of all to abolish prejudices about migrant workers witnessed abundantly during needs assessment. More than 400 in 4 weeks were part of awareness raising sessions about rights of migrant workers, treatment owed with dignity and respect, equality as human being.