or how to surveil your kid.
One country after another is stopping its ‘nationals’ from coming to work in Lebanon, especially those destined to private homes. The new one in line is Madagascar as they learned that body organs were being traded after strange deaths were happening. Most of the time, official doctor autopsy declares ‘suicide’ cases. But according to a guy who has an agency ‘importing’ workers and with who I happened to have a little chat, it is known that suicide cases most of the time involve a caring helping hand pushing you out of the balcony for example. According to the same guy, it is the hospitals from where these autopsies come from that are involved in the trade of organs.
So now, basta, game’s over, you can’t play with bodies anymore. First Sri Lanka, then the Philipines and now Madagascar? Now where will the Lebanese look to keep them lazy and abusive?
Several thoughts here:
The situation is so sad that countries like Madagascar are taking political decisions based on a purported ethical choice. Countries who never really cared that much for its people (no country does) but mostly care about what the international community says about treatment of their people – something that could decide on whether money is sent in these countries or not – have decided to cut the flow of outgoing workers even though they bring a lot of money home.
See girls who come to work in the Switzerland of the Middle East have “housemaid” written on their Malagasi passport as an identity marker. That is how Malagasy authorities actually issue passports. Next to that, having your sect listed on the Lebanese one is a blessing. There are two types of ‘citizens’ in Madagascar: the average local people and those who go to work outside as housemaid.
It seems also the case that Malagasy families perfect their little teenager girl’s education by delivering her to the good care of a Lebanese family and make sure the latter is watching her whereabouts. I heard from people who have an 18 year old Malagasy woman working at their place that her father calls practically every other day in order to make sure his daughter is behaving and summons its employer to keep a watchful eye on her. I remember seeing the poor girl being punished on new years and not being to go out with her friends for that reason.
Now on the Lebanon side of things, what brings us into this mess in the first place is not that human beings in this country are champions in unethical behavior easily rivaling with Israeli practices, but the actual system that makes all this possible. Lebanese law virtually gives total discretion to an employer over his employee by making the former totally ‘responsible’ over the latter.
Although home workers have some form of work-visas, they can only get them once an employer agrees to pay for a fixed fee to get the papers. The employer pays a fee, a sort of ransom and keep the passport of his employee under custody. The employer has all the economic incentive to control the employee: He is actually legally paid for the possession of someone. This is a form of slavery, and lest I would shock many of you if I said that I have nothing against slavery in principle provided it has an appropriate social setting, slavery in a capitalist system create forms of exploitation that have much greater excessive implications.