THE Lebanese Government has stopped issuing work visas to Nigerians visiting Lebanon to be employed as domestic workers as a way of addressing the rising incidences of human trafficking in the Arab country.
The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Houssam Diab, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday during a meeting with the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
He said the policy, which took effect on May 1, 2020, would address the abuse and violation of rights of workers “as Lebanon takes these issues seriously.”
A number of Nigerian ladies, including an Oyo State indigene, Busari Peace, who was put for sale on Facebook for $1,000 by her trafficker, a Lebanese national, had been trafficked to Lebanon by a syndicate with promises of lucrative jobs.
She was subsequently rescued by the Nigerian Mission in Beirut and her captor arrested.
On May 24, 69 trafficked and stranded ladies were evacuated by the Lebanese Government to the country.
Commenting on the repatriation, the Lebanese envoy stated, “Sixty-nine out of the 79 Nigerians, who suffered one form of abuse or the other in Lebanon, were evacuated at the expense of the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese community in Nigeria.”
“The remaining 10 are facing judicial issues bordering on alleged theft and attempted murder and that’s why they were not freed or evacuated. Nine are facing theft cases and one is facing attempted murder.”
Speaking, Dabiri-Erewa disclosed that Peace refused to return to the country despite entreaties by the Oyo State Government.
“The lady said she had secured another job and would prefer staying back in Lebanon. Not even the plea by Oyo State, her home state, could make her change her mind as she insisted on staying back,” the NiDCOM boss explained.