Le calvaire des domestiques africaines au Liban. by laurent-johnny

Le calvaire des domestiques togolaises au Liban

Six domestiques africaines seraient séquestrées et battues depuis plus d’une semaine dans le sud du Liban. Elles seraient victimes d’un réseau mafieux de traite d’êtres humains qui leur ont fait miroiter un travail rémunéré. Malgré de nombreuses plaintes, l’esclavage des domestiques perdure depuis plusieurs années au Liban.

On nous traite comme des animaux sauvages. On veut rentrer dans notre pays. Nous pleurons tous les jours. Ici, les personnes ne nous traitent pas bien, quand on est malade, on ne nous donne pas à manger. La personne nous emmène chez le monsieur, il nous frappe”, raconte par téléphone une employée de maison africaine retenue au Liban à la rédaction de TV5MONDE.

Deux Togolaises, deux Burkinabés et deux Ghanéennes, mais aussi des Maliennes sont séquestrées depuis plus d’une semaine à Nabatieh, dans le sud du Liban. C’est le site d’information ivoirien Koaci.com qui a lancé l’alerte le 16 mars 2014 suite à l’appel téléphonique de deux d’entre elles.

Enfermées et frappées, elles auraient tenté de fuir leur lieu de travail. Elles seraient victimes d’un réseau mafieux de traite d’êtres humains. Ces derniers recrutent des femmes en Afrique en leur faisant espérer un travail rémunéré au Liban. “On nous a vendu dans ce pays (…) On a des diplômes d’apprentissage et on nous dit que nous allions seulement venir travailler ici, et voilà que nous sommes devenues des esclaves”, a témoigné une Togolaise âgée de 24 ans à la rédaction koaci.com.

Ces cas ne sont pas nouveaux au Liban. Les violences à l’égard des domestiques étrangères sont régulièrement dénoncées par des ONG et rapportés dans les médias. Exploitées, privées de rémunération, passeport confisqué, séquestrées, battues, et même violées. Ce sont les violences infligées à ces femmes de ménage. 200 000 domestiques travailleraient au Liban, selon Human Rights Watch (HRW).

La plupart sont originaires d’Asie (Philippines) et d’Afrique de l’Est (Éthiopiennes). Désormais, il y a aussi des femmes d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Elles viennent du Togo, de Burkina Faso, du Mali, de la Côte d’Ivoire, etc. Issues de familles pauvres, elles s’endettent pour payer le voyage. En travaillant au Liban, ces femmes espèrent de meilleurs revenus afin d’aider financièrement leur famille restée au pays. Sur place, la réalité est tout autre.

Vide juridique

Beaucoup finissent par se suicider. La défenestration est le moyen le plus utilisé par ces dernières qui sont souvent enfermées à domicile par leurs employeurs. Selon HRW, le taux de mortalité de femmes de ménages a fortement augmenté au Liban. En cause : une législation qui ne leur prévoit aucune protection. Exclues du droit du travail libanais, les femmes de ménage étrangères sont soumises à des règlesd’immigration restrictives basées sur le parrainage individuel par l’employeur. Un vide juridique qui profite aux patrons peu scrupuleux.

“L’absence d’une protection juridique des droits des travailleuses domestiques au Liban, ainsi que les politiques restrictives en matière de visas, contribuent à leur isolement, aux mauvais traitements qu’elles subissent, à leur endettement et à leur incapacité à échapper aux abus”, avait souligné Nadim Houry, directeur adjoint de la division Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord à Human Rights Watch dans un communiqué de l’organisation publié en 2012.

Lire aussi: “Togo: Yolande Sossou «J’ai été vendue au Liban»

Problème aussi dans le système pénal du Liban. Lorsque des plaintes sont enregistrées, le traitement des dossiers est long : 24 mois en moyenne et les peines contre les agresseurs souvent légères. “Le gouvernement libanais devrait faire d’une réforme du système de parrainage sa priorité et adopter une nouvelle loi sur le travail domestique qui soit conforme aux critères internationaux dans ce domaine”, avait indiqué Nadim Houry.

Promesses politiques

Suite aux nombreux scandales de violences commises sur des domestiques étrangères, le gouvernement libanais avait promis à plusieurs reprises un changement de législation. Le pays avait aussi voté en faveur de la Convention internationale n°189 de l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT) sur le travail décent pour les travailleurs domestiques en 2011. La même année, le ministre du Travail, Boutros Harb, avait proposé un texte qui règlementait les conditions d’emplois de ces femmes puis rapidement abandonné en raison d’un changement de gouvernement. En 2010, le Conseil des ministre avait approuvé un projet de loi contre les violences à l’égard des femmes qui concernait aussi les femmes de ménage. Mais le cas de ces employés de maison africaines montre que les promesses tardent à s’appliquer.

Dernier recours possible : les ambassades des pays d’origines. Longtemps critiqués pour leur inaction, plusieurs pays fournisseurs de main d’œuvre ont commencé à réagir. Les autorités malgaches, sri-lankaise et philippines rapatrient leurs ressortissants ou les incitent à ne pas accepter d’emplois venant du Liban. Le dernier en date : l’Éthiopie a interdit en octobre 2013 aux hommes et aux femmes de migrer vers le Moyen-Orient en raison des nombreuses informations sur des violences généralisées à leur égard dans cette région.

Lire la suite sur tv5monde.com

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