Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Photographer
   
Kafala
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Diego Ibarra Sánchez 1982, Spain www.diegoibarra.com Diego Ibarra Sánchez is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Lebanon. Diego assumes a very critical stance regarding the use of images in our own society, defining... read on
Public Story
Kafala
Credits: diego ibarra
Updated: 06/16/20
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
"Under Kafala Law: Domestic workers in Lebanon" is a project to give an insight into the lives of migrant workers in Lebanon and to explore their experiences of abuse, exploitation, and dignity bringing humanity back into the untold story of thousands of workers living and suffering under The Kafala System in Lebanon.
Lebanon is home to over 250,000 migrant domestic workers who come from African and Asian countries and work in private households. Migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are trapped in a web woven by the kafala system, an inherently abusive migration sponsorship system, which increases their risk of suffering labor exploitation, forced labor, and trafficking and leaves them with little prospect of obtaining redress.

All migrant domestic workers are excluded from the Lebanese Labor Law and are governed instead by the KAFALA SYSTEM which ties the legal residency of the worker to the contractual relationship with the employer. If this employment relationship ends, even in cases of abuse, the worker loses regular migration status. Moreover, the worker cannot change their employer without the latter’s permission and they become illegal the moment they decide they don't want to work under these conditions anymore.

Migrant domestic workers are trapped in Lebanon, left to fend for themselves against abuse and poverty.  They frequently fail to receive a minimum wage, sick days or holidays, and low wages, non-payment of wages, long workdays, forced confinement, intimidation, and harassment are frequently reported. Cases of abuses are reported regularly, with workers often unable to obtain their rights or even flee because all their money and travel documents are held by their employers.

On top of the lack of legal protections, domestic workers are subject to a wide range of illegal abuses - including the confiscation of passports, withholding of wages, and physical violence - yet there are many barriers to legal recourse.  The lack of protection for migrant domestic workers in Lebanon leaves the door open to abuse. Two domestic workers are estimated to die in Lebanon each week, many in suicides or botched escape attempts. This project has been published on:


Thousands of women are trapped in Lebanon. They risk jail time to leave
They moved to Lebanon to become domestic workers and send money home to their families. Now they’ve become “hostages” of the country’s economic crisis.


Hausmädchen in arabischen Ländern: dem Dienstherr ausgeliefert
Sie sind hilflos ihrem Dienstherr ausgeliefert. Um einem skrupellosen Arbeitgeber zu entkommen, bleibt oft nur die Wahl zwischen Selbstmord oder Flucht in die ebenso schutzlose Illegalität.


La revuelta contra la 'madame' libanesa
De trabajadora doméstica maltratada a activista en Líbano

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By Diego Ibarra Sánchez —

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Mandela Legacy, Gambia UNDP

By Diego Ibarra / The Gambia — It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be..
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Yazidi Legacy

By Diego Ibarra / sinjar, — Yazidi Legacy is a project to give an insight into the lives of Yazidis and explore their experiences of..
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CNN: Lebanon´s turmoil

By Diego Ibarra Sánchez / Tripoli, Lebanon
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Orphans of War in Mosul

By Diego Ibarra Sánchez — Iraq´s Forgotten Casualties Children orphaned in battle with ISIS: Ten of thousands of o children..
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Fear and Sport Imperil Lebanon

By Diego Ibarra / Lebanon — Poisoned, run over, and shot on sight, the country’s national animal finds itself threatened by..
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Christians under siege: Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra — Photographed for DER SPIEGEL A ray of light bathes Ashiq Masih. He holds with his hands the portrait of his..
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Pehlwani : the ancients mud wrestler

By Diego Ibarra — Pehlwani, an ancient style of wrestling, is struggling to survive in modern day Pakistan. Its roots may date..
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Dispatches from Mosul

By Diego Ibarra — Mohammed looks out of the dirty back window of the Civil Defense´s ambulance.  He holds firmly..
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Factory Aftermath

By Diego Ibarra — Fire ravaged a textile factory complex at Karachi’s Gulbai area killing almost 300 workers trapped..
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How ISIS changed Iraqi schools

By Diego Ibarra — Iraq’s education system has been devastated by ISIS, but there’s still hope of avoiding a..
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In Shift, Pakistanis Fleeing War Flow Into Beleaguered Afghanistan

By Diego Ibarra — Through three decades of war, waves of Afghans have fled their homes along the eastern border areas, many of..
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Libya on tears 2011

By Diego Ibarra — After spreading the Arab Spring around the Muslim countries, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, on..
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Chronicles of the monsoon

By Diego Ibarra — For EL PAIS SEMANAL Pakistan has been facing natural disasters for two consecutive years. Still reeling from..
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Tripoli, a tale of two cities

By Diego Ibarra / Tripoli, Lebanon — Over the past eight years, 200 people have been killed in clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli,..
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A Superstar Televangelist in Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra / Karachi, Pakistan — The audience erupted as Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Pakistan’s premier televangelist, darted around the..
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The Afghan lovers

By Diego Ibarra / Bamyan — She is his Juliet and he is her Romeo, and her family has threatened to kill them both. Complicating..
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In Afghanistan, American Special Forces ´s Presence winds down

By Diego Ibarra — The US government has begun its gradual military drawdown in Afghanistan, bringing to an end combat..
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Football without barriers in North Nigeria

By Diego Ibarra — Nigeria has recently reached the milestone of being polio-free for a year, however, the disease has left..
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