Survivor Stories : Ruth * Trafficked in Lebanon as a domestic servant.

Ruth (not her real name)  was approached by a lady working for a recruitment agency who came to her shop in disguise as a customer. The lady convinced her that she would connect her to work abroad for a commission of USD 800. Ruth was convinced and accepted the offer since she had tried connecting with an agent online who instead was demanding USD 1500. The lady promised her that she will be employed to work in an office in Lebanon. Later on, she was directed to the office where the agency was located, after she arrived at the office she signed the contract indicating that she would be employed to work as a cleaner in Lebanon.

Upon arrival, she was received by the agent in Lebanon and directed to the agency’s office. Afterward, she was locked up in a room where she met other migrants who were physically abused for refusing to work. Later she was accompanied to the hospital where she was tested for COVID-19 and was in quarantine for 2 weeks. After quarantine, the agent came for her and she was informed that the contract she signed was fake thus she was required to work as a domestic worker. Ruth was not in agreement and she refused, insisting that she had signed to work as a cleaner.

This resulted in her being beaten up and forced to work as a domestic worker, she had no choice and she agreed to the offer. Later that evening the employer came for her at the office and she was taken to the residence. Upon arrival. She started working immediately. She was required to work for her employer and his mother who was aged and very sickly. Ruth was given the responsibility of nursing the old woman, she was to change her diapers and do all the other house chores as well. The employer’s family consisted of 14 family members.

During her employment period, Ruth was extremely overworked, denied food and medical treatment. After working for 8 months, she could not bear the mistreatment and insisted that she wanted to be taken back to the agency office. The employer agreed and she was taken back. However, the agent did not listen to any of her complaints, instead, she was beaten up for refusing to work and her mobile phone

was confiscated. Ruth was locked up in the office for a period of 2 months while she was forced to work for another employer. Eventually, she agreed and she was received by another employer who was a doctor. The doctor was only living with his wife and they didn’t have children. Ruth thought that she was lucky since the work would not be overwhelming. However, the wife of the employer was a drug addict who was forcing

Ruth to take drugs. She was forced to wash the lady’s cat daily and she was denied food. When Ruth tried raising her concern, the lady threatened to kill her. One day the cat died mysteriously and Ruth was worried for her life. She wanted to escape by jumping from the balcony which was on the 6th  floor. Her plan, however, didn't work out as her employer, found out before she could escape. The lady was furious and pointed a gun at her, Ruth screamed for help and the lady hit her on the head. One of the neighbors came to her rescue and called the police who came and took her to the hospital. Afterward, she was accommodated by one of the policemen for 2 months until she recovered completely. She was then connected with the Caritas shelter where she was accommodated for 4 months. Later she was assisted by Ms. Eunice(CHTEA Liason officer) who connected her with IOM Lebanon. IOM facilitated her travel ticket to Kenya.

After her return, Ruth was taken in by CHTEA and offered medical and psychosocial support, Ruth is now in good shape and running a small business to support herself and her family. 

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