Caritas is a mission, not a job. Nirmala Wijesinghe who runs a Caritas safe house in Beiruit is one of the many staff and volunteers around the world who illustrate this through their constant dedication and hard work.
The most vulnerable to slavery conditions are those who, due to poverty, lack of other possibilities or indebtedness, accept irregular work and fall prey to traffickers who severely exploit them and make it impossible for them to leave.
Migrant domestic workers should be treated with the same respect as any other worker: “Treat others as you want to be treated”. That's the message of a film by Caritas Lebanon to coincide with forth anniversary of an internation convention setting labour standards for domestic workers.
Caritas has campaigned for countries to ratify the Convention on Domestic Workers as this would offer protection from abuses and reinforce the rights of people who work in other people’s homes either caring for family members or cooking or cleaning.
Almost 21 million people are the victims of trafficking. The vast majority are from Asia and are women. Christian organisations supported by Caritas Internationalis are working together to combat trafficking.
The anti-trafficking network COATNET will meet in Madrid next week to discuss trafficking for labour exploitation and domestic servitude. Moreover, members of the network will outline their common plan and collective actions for the coming years.
Caritas campaigned hard to get the convention approved and ensure the rights of domestic workers were respected. The very nature of domestic work – behind closed doors and hidden from view – means that the terrain is rife for abuses and protective measures are minimal.