2011-03-04 – Friday Whisper – Modern Slavery…


 So you have a job… why? For different reasons… because you want to build a career, you want to feel productive and worth of something, you want to support your family, or you want to sustain yourself…. Why did you choose this job? Because this is what you were looking for, this is what you were offered or this is the only job you got…
Regardless of what your reasons are, sometimes you bump into an employer who isn’t really your ideal one or far from being it. What do I mean? Do you have an employer who:
  •      makes you feel as an expense to the company rather than an investment when paying you your salary for the work you did?
  •      when you decide to take your vacation, makes you feel that they are being nice to you rather than it is your right.
  •      discourages you, yells at you or even insults you in front of others?
  •      makes you feel that they are the reason you are able to sustain yourself and your family rather than you are earning it with your hard work?
  •      was over your shoulders watching how many pauses you are taking, how long your lunch break is, even if it is necessary for your well being and your productivity?
  •      if you need a work permit in the country you are living in, makes you feel that they own you and can decide your destiny just because they can grant/cancel your permit? In some cases, your passport is being held till you leave the country.
  •      makes you feel that you are inferior just because of your race, gender, color skin, or religion?

Were you ever paid less for the same job you do as another person, just because your race, color skin, religion or gender?
Don’t you agree that if you have lived/are living one of those situations, it is considered wrong, unfair and inhuman?
Now, imagine if you are living all is…plus your employer decides when you wake up, when you sleep, when you sit, when you eat, when you take a break… your employer denies you a vacation, denies you access to your salary… comes with all that all sort of abuse…
Very sad… No! Outrageous! Who gives the employer the right to treat you like this, for a work that him/herself is not able to handle!!!  
What would you do with such employer? Would you stay at work? What if you don’t have any other option or anybody to turn to? Is it possible that it would lead you to a suicide?
Unfortunately, this is the situation of many domestic workers all over the world (just google it!) but I will talk about Lebanon here; in most case, they are women coming from different countries; Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Ethiopians, Bangladesh, Indians, Nepalese… Yet they are all called Sri Lankans to designate a domestic worker!!!  They have to work days after day with no weekends in the horizon, deprived from their low-wage salaries, their passports confiscated, allowed very few phone calls to their families back home, can’t leave the house for a break, survive abuse, beating, insults, hunger, and sometimes rape!!! Modern slavery, isn’t it? No need to tell you that there are no clear laws to protect them in many places… what is the result? They escape or commit suicide…
You might be saying now that not everyone treats their domestic worker this way…You might even show me cases where the domestic worker stole, abused an elderly, beat the kids… yeah, maybe true, but it doesn’t mean that we have the right to mistreat the others under the pretext that they will all behave as such…
And it doesn’t stop here; prototyping of people coming from the countries mentioned above lead people to treat them all as domestic workers by default, even if the person is a professor or a doctor! Now can you imagine if I fell in love with an Indian guy what will happen? I will have something to write about daily!!! That’s for sure! Hmm…. A food for thought 😉
A domestic worker for me is a very valuable helper, who becomes part of the family, with whom life becomes easier, and who is the plumber in my house the same way I’m the plumber at work (check previous whisper http://on.fb.me/f73ZEq)…
Caliph Omar Bin Al-Khattab, a Muslim ruler, said: “Since when do you enslave the people when their mothers bore them as free men?”
Still, I do have hope as Mahatma Gandhi, and Indian philosopher, said: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Provided we all worked together to make it better, starting by ourselves…
The question that remains is what should we do with you if it happens that you are that employer?
With the Women’s day approaching, I dedicate this whisper to every single domestic worker in Lebanon who is struggling every day with all kinds of physical and verbal abuse…
Rania Hammoud
You can also join my Facebook page
“My Srilankan is from Ethiopia, where does yours come from?”

Taken from http://mayazankoul.com/about-2/

Taken from http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anti-Racism-Movement/12339657435845
 PS: check the following:

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