Stopping Israeli violence, promoting regional security vital: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hosted the summit that was attended by Jordan's King Abdullah II and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. (Photo: Office of Iraqi PM)
Updated 25 March 2019
0

Stopping Israeli violence, promoting regional security vital: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq

  • Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq held an economic cooperation summit in Cairo on Sunday
  • President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hosted the summit that was attended by Jordan's King Abdullah II and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi

LONDON: Stopping escalation of Israeli violence in Jerusalem and violations against the Al-Aqsa mosque is necessary, Egypt and Jordan said in a joint statement Sunday.
A further statement issued by Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq said that the countries support Palestine and its claim to East Jerusalem as its capital.
The three countries held an economic cooperation summit in Cairo on Sunday.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hosted the summit that was attended by Jordan's King Abdullah II and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
The statement issued by the trio also emphasized the need to fight against terrorism in all its forms and confronting all those who provide terrorism with funds, arms, and media platforms.
Egypt, Jordan and Iraq called for coordination with other Arab countries to restore stability in the region.
They also emphasized the independence of Arab countries and the importance of preventing external intervention in their internal affairs.
The statement stated the concept of the nation state must be strengthened in order to confront terrorism and sectarian strife.
Support for Iraq’s efforts to complete reconstruction and help displaced people return to their homes after the defeat of Daesh was also expressed by the three countries.
On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during his first trip abroad since taking office in October.
During the meeting, Abdul Mahdi sought Egypt’s support for efforts to tackle extremist militants in the region, and highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism.”
He said “cooperation between Egypt and Iraq will be essential for this matter,” according to an official statement.


Amnesty urges Lebanon to help end domestic worker abuse

An Asian domestic worker walks her employer's dog in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, on April 23, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 April 2019
0

Amnesty urges Lebanon to help end domestic worker abuse

  • Ethiopia and the Philippines have banned their citizens from domestic work in Lebanon, but still their citizens find ways to come

BEIRUT: Amnesty International on Wednesday urged Lebanon to end what it described as an “inherently abusive” migration sponsorship system governing the lives of tens of thousands of foreigners working in private homes.
Domestic workers in Lebanon are excluded from the labor law, and instead obtain legal residency though their employers’ sponsorship under the so-called “kafala” system.
But activists say this leaves the maids, nannies and carers at the mercy of their employers and unable to leave without their permission, including in numerous documented cases of abuse.
“Amnesty International is calling on the Lebanese authorities to end the kafala system and extend labor protections to migrant domestic workers,” the London-based rights group said.
“The Lebanese parliament should amend the labor law to include domestic workers under its protection,” including to allow them to join unions, the group said.
Lebanon hosts more than 250,000 registered domestic workers from countries in Africa and Asia, the vast majority of them women.
In a report released Wednesday titled “Their house is my prison,” Amnesty surveyed 32 domestic workers employed mostly in and around Beirut, revealing “alarming patterns of abuse.”
Among them, 10 women said they were not allowed to leave their employer’s house, with some saying they were locked in.
Twenty-seven said their employers had confiscated their passports.
Many worked overtime, 14 were not allowed a single day off each week, and several had their monthly salaries revoked or decreased, despite it being a breach of their contracts.
The labor ministry introduced a standard contract for domestic workers in 2009, but the forms are often written in Arabic, a language they cannot read.
The government in late 2018 said it had translated the contracts into several other languages.
Amnesty registered eight cases of forced labor and four of human trafficking, the report said.
Six reported severe physical abuse, while almost all had been subjected to humiliating treatment and several were deprived of food.
“Sometimes I would get so hungry... I used to mix water with sugar when I was hungry and drink it,” one worker said.
With the abuse taking a toll on their mental health, six said they had contemplated or attempted suicide.
Only four of those interviewed had private rooms, while the rest were relegated to living rooms, storage rooms, kitchens or balconies.
“There is a man in the house who can enter the living room any time he wants,” said one worker who was forced to sleep in the living room.
Activists accuse the Lebanese authorities of being lax in bringing abusive employers to account.
Ethiopia and the Philippines have banned their citizens from domestic work in Lebanon, but still their citizens find ways to come.
In 2008, Human Rights Watch found that migrant domestic workers in Lebanon were dying at a rate of more than one per week from suicide or in failed escapes.
Many other countries in the Arab world also follow the “kafala” system for household workers.