We are Mesewat
“Mesewat is a non-governmental, non-religious, non-racial and non-profit solidarity network that supports migrant workers in Lebanon and the Middle East.”
We aim to provide immediate support to migrant workers in distress, as well as for their families, in the form of shelter or financial/legal support. Mesewat works with a solidarity network of migrant workers, medical staff, lawyers, and allies. We also receive support to organize projects from the Anti-Racist Movement, Migrant Community Center, Kanthari and private donors.
Rahel Zegeye, a human rights activist fighting for the rights of migrant domestic workers, founded Mesewat in 2018. She is also a writer and film director, who tells real life stories about migrant workers through her documentaries and movies. Her upcoming movie is entitled Shouting Without a Listener.
We envision Lebanon as a country in which migrant domestic workers are protected by the law and can claim their rights to work without harm, have fair and timely compensation, and adequate rest.
We aim to raise awareness about migrant working conditions in Lebanon and advocate for them to be protected by the law. We also aim to provide migrant workers with a solidarity network that they can rely on in case of distress or abuse.
Our Work & Services
Inside Lebanon is an online quarterly publication that features real stories from migrant workers in Lebanon, featured on the Mesewat website. It also includes updates and developments on advocacy for migrant rights in the Middle East.
When shelter is needed for migrant workers who have faced maltreatment from their employers, we reach out to our network to see who can temporarily host them. In the future, we plan to have a shelter home funded by sponsors and friends.
Children of migrant workers have difficulty accessing schools in Lebanon, meaning that many of them miss out on their basic schooling. Therefore, we give them private tutoring that will help them learn how to read, write, and speak English and Arabic.
Many migrant workers are thrown into prison for arbitrary reasons by sponsors or the security forces, without the chance to be legally represented. We facilitate migrant workers in this process and help repatriate them to their home countries, and provide counseling services to them.
Many migrant workers do not have health insurance and do not receive adequate medical attention when they have accidents, many of which are at the hands of their own employers. Children of migrant workers could also be at risk of not receiving proper medical care when needed. We help raise funds for migrant workers whose medical needs have been neglected to help them with medical costs. We also facilitate the process of getting support from NGOs and other organizations when needed.
Sexual, verbal, physical, and financial abuses are predominant issues that migrant workers face every day in Lebanon. In many cases, the sponsor/employer withholds the salaries of the migrant workers, leaving them vulnerable as they cannot leave the country or switch employers without the sponsor’s permission due to the Kafala system. We aim to provide legal service for migrant workers who have faced abuse, taking up their case legally and fighting for their rights. Are you a lawyer who is willing to work on migrant workers’ cases on a pro-bono basis? If so, then please get in touch with us.
P.O.Box: 11-8339 Beirut Lebanon