There are currently 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, a small country of four million. Maids save on rent, bills, and food costs living with their employers.
Caritas Migrant Center, an NGO which aids and shelters maids who have run away from their employers, are receiving between three and six cases of abuse per day, from abuses that range from rape, physical violence, trafficking and starvation.
Human Rights Watch in 2008 reported that "domestic workersare dying in Lebanon at the rate of one a week". There is no law to protect migrant workers in Lebanon. On arrival, most domestic workers are confined to the house, and their passport confiscated. When they escape their employer's home, they become an illegal resident in the country, due to the sponsorship system that operates in the country.
These women play a pivotal role in the operation of private homes: as cooks, nurses, carers and cleaners.