Syrian refugees in Lebanon at growing risk of forced labor

By REUTERS
April 12, 2016 04:22

LONDON - A growing number of children whose families have fled the Syrian war to Lebanon are being forced to work for little or no pay, many of them in dangerous conditions, anti slavery experts said on Tuesday.

About one million Syrians have fled to Lebanon, where they make up a quarter of the country's population. Many have no legal right to work, and families are forced to find other ways to pay for food, shelter and healthcare.

Some Lebanese employers prefer to hire children, finding them cheaper and more compliant than adults, the Freedom Fund, an international initiative to fight slavery, said in a report.

Adults too are being used as forced labor and vulnerable to sexual exploitation, according to the report, which was based on interviews with local officials, refugees, international agencies and local NGOs.


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