Currently, 53 Gambian woman are stranded in Beirut as the Gambian government has chosen not to help them. Many of these women are victims of human trafficking, have been severely mistreated and are desperate to go home. These woman cannot leave, have no money and are being refused hospital treatment. I am personally in contact with one of these women.
They were initially 'employed' as domestic servants but have been abandoned by their 'employers' due to the recession and recent disaster in Beirut. The Kafala system in Lebanon (and other countries) allows for easy exploitation of migrant workers.
This means that:-
1. Workers are NOT protected by Lebanese employment laws.
2. Employers can confiscate workers papers and passports.
3. Workers do not get paid or are paid very little.
4. Migrant workers are abused without legal repercussions.
These women became enslaved and cannot escape.
We are not alone.
Many activists and organisations are working to free these women. Action for Humanity, a Swedish based NGO run by Lovette Jallow, is in direct contact with these women and helping support them and Fatou Jagne runs Network of Girls against Trafficking (NoGAHT) in Gambia.
What happens now?
As the Gambian government refuses to help, these women need to hire a lawyer to help recover their confiscated papers and passports. Without these, they cannot leave the country. The women have been threatened with a 30 day jail sentence for breaking employment contracts and could face mental, physical and sexual abuse while incarcerated. This has happened to many previously jailed migrant workers in Lebanon. Once released, flights will need to be purchased and support provided upon arrival in Gambia such as travel, living expenses and counselling.
What will the money donated be used for?
The first £1000 raised will got to my contact in Beirut to pay for her lawyer to get her passport back. Additional funds raised on top of this will be split between the 53 Gambian women, Action for Humanity and NoGAHT depending on where the money is needed most. The initial fundraising amount is low but this will change as more money is needed as the situation progresses. All donors will be updated to changes as they occur.
1. Living expenses for the 53 women in Beirut.
- Food, water, rent etc.
2. Additional lawyers fees.
4. Physical, mental and emotional support provided upon arrival in Gambia.
- Travel expenses home, counselling etc.
The money donated will go directly to me so I can send it either to my contact in Beirut, Action for Humanity or NoGAHT. As my contact does not currently have her passport she cannot be a direct beneficiary of this GoFundMe and requires me to send her the money.
I've donated so what now?
If you have donated please consider signing this petition to convince the government in Gambia to help bring these women home.
Petition to the Gambia government
You can also email the Gambia consulate in Lebanon at:-
You can support and donate directly to Lovette Jallow at Action for Humanity:-
Website - https://lovettejallow.com/en/about-lovette-jallow/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lovettejallow
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/action4humanity_se/?hl=en
You can support and donate directly to Fatou Jagne at NoGAHT:-
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Girlsagainsttrafficking/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/nogaht/?hl=en
Finally, please share this!
- David McCrossan
- gerry O Hare
- Naomi Smith
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