Friday, October 2, 2015

Denial of privacy and the right to a private life 2/3


Most domestic workers who participated in the study did not have a private space in the house. In the
small number of cases where they did, it was often a tiny room fitting nothing more than a small bed
or a mattress on the floor. Despite that, most workers said that the small room in the house was better
than the alternatives, which include sleeping in the kitchen (19%), the living room (22%), or on the balcony (7%). Some had to share rooms with members of the household (11%) and that included men, which put them in a constant state of worry about potential sexual abuse and exploitation. As for those who slept in the living room, they had to wait for the entire family to go to sleep before they could do the same. Those who slept in the kitchen would wake up if anyone had to use the bathroom or drink water at night. Most workers kept their belongings in a bag and were not given a closet to keep their private belongings at any point during their stay at the employer’s house.
Some employers act as though they have absolute authority over the appearance of the worker, as if
she herself has no opinion about her own appearance. Most workers complained about the employers
making them cut their hair as soon as they arrived at the house. Some woke up to the employers cutting their hair against their will. Others were forced to use lice shampoo for a week regardless of
whether they suffered from lice or not.
Some workers said that their employers searched their belongings which they had brought from home, throwing some of their things away without compensating them. Most workers stated that they were not given any new clothes, but were rather given hand-me-downs that belonged to the female members of the household or their relatives. In some cases, personal care and hygiene items such as feminine pads and soap were not provided to the workers and some said that they would bathe with dishwashing detergent.
http://www.kafa.org.lb/StudiesPublicationPDF/PRpdf-78-635554479048554864.pdf

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