Lebanon: role play highlights rights and plights of domestic workers

Eliza Marks, Technical Officer, FAIRWAY project

 “She came here to work, not to make friends… so why should I give her a day off? I don’t get one!” Mariam* said, to laughter and nods of agreement from the group.

It was a bright and busy morning in central Beirut, and I was sitting in on an information session for people who employ domestic workers.

I had heard Mariam’s view many times before, as it reflects a common perspective in Lebanon and the region more broadly: that domestic work is not ‘real’ work, and that standard working conditions are irrelevant.

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Three steps to end discrimination of migrant workers and improve their health

Afsar Syed Mohammad, Senior Technical Specialist and Margherita Licata, Technical Specialist Gender, Equality and Diversity and ILOAIDS Branch

When migrant workers leave their home, many encounter abuse and violence on their journey and discrimination once they arrive. This can be because of their status as migrants but also because of their ethnicity, sex, religion, and HIV status.

They often struggle to find decent work, which means they can end up in poor living and working conditions, which in turn affects their health. Female migrants are more likely to be vulnerable to exploitation and violence, which exposes them to the risk of HIV and other health issues.

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Upskilling SMEs: 5 things we learned about the effectiveness of SME training schemes

Stephan Ulrich, Regional Programme Manager for Asia, SCORE Programme

In most countries, the majority of workers work in a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Unfortunately, once employed, the staff of these SMEs rarely receive formal training. As a result, a large proportion of the population are not regularly refreshing their skills in order to remain productive and employable as they age.

With this in mind, many governments have set up programmes to incentivize SMEs to invest in training, including more than 100 countries that run national training levy schemes. Despite the investment, there is little evidence as to whether these schemes are spurring more training. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some training schemes have succeeded in delivering demand-driven services in a business-friendly way, while others have developed a poor reputation for being bureaucratic and inefficient.
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