"African women sent back and stranded" after the explosion in Beirut

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"African women sent back and stranded" after the explosion in Beirut

Some Lebanese employers have fired their African maids since the massive explosion destroyed their homes, according to a domestic worker who fled her employer in February.

Many African women move to Lebanon and other countries in the Middle East to work in houses in what is called the Kefala system - which ties your immigration status to your resident job - a system that , critics say, makes workers vulnerable to abuse by their employers.

Lucy Turay told BBC Focus on Africa radio that fellow domestic workers were called after Tuesday's explosion by their employers to be told they had lost their jobs because houses had been destroyed.

Ms Turay herself fled her job as a housemaid and babysitter in February after saying her employer threatened to kill her.

She became homeless until an Indian woman found her on the streets of Beirut and gave her the phone number of her country's consulate. While now living in a safe house, she says she has no money for a flight home and neither does her consulate.

She says the only way for her and her compatriots to raise money for their flight home is with money from a song she wrote.

Journalist Aline Deschamps helped them produce a video of a song.

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The lyrics of the song Bye and Bye warn young women of the dangers of taking a maid job in the Middle East.

About the employers, she sings, "They beat us, they will kill us, there is no one to help us, we work without pay, they don't care what we eat, they don't care what we eat. 'place where we sleep'.

This article appeared first on: https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-47639452

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