After escaping abuse in the Middle East, domestic workers’ woes are far from over in this pandemic

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Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The pandemic and resulting economic crises have led migrant workers around the world to return to their home countries in the tens of thousands.
  •  More than 30,000 Ethiopian workers have re-entered the country, according to the government.
  • Upon arrival, migrants must go directly to one of the quarantine centres across the country for at least a week before they can go home. 
  • Migrants also face increasing hostility as potential virus carriers.
  • The economic stigma of returning without money or savings can be equally difficult.
  • In Kenya, there is a government-backed referral mechanism to help support victims of trafficking, yet few know it exists

Exactly 13 months after first landing in Beirut, Lebanon, former domestic worker Esenam sat on a flight back to Ghana, carrying just the clothes she wore on her back.

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