News ID: 255979
Published: 0436 GMT July 18, 2019

Lebanon to end crackdown on unlicensed Palestinian workers: Parliament speaker

Lebanon to end crackdown on unlicensed Palestinian workers: Parliament speaker

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says the Arab country will reverse recent measures against businesses hiring foreign workers without permits.

Speaking at a parliamentary session in Beirut on Thursday, Berri said Palestinian laborers will return to the situation before the crackdown, urging Labor Minister Camille Abousleiman to convene a press conference and officially announce the latest decision, Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported, Presstv Reported.

“No one has stood up to address Palestinians’ protests in refugee camps. The situation is nearing explosion and must be rectified. Otherwise, the situation will spiral out of control,” lawmaker Ammar al-Kalam said during the session.

“We want to treat Palestinians just like the Lebanese, and apply the law to them. We are in constant dialogue with the Palestinian ambassador (to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour) and Palestinian authorities,” Abousleiman earlier told reporters outside parliament.

He added, “The Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC) is the body that requested in 2017 to give Palestinians work permits. We have to stop the road riots because they make no sense, especially as these measures help workers. Once they are registered, the labor law provides them with guarantees against arbitrary dismissal and minimum wage.”

Last month, the Lebanese Labor Ministry announced a one-month deadline for companies to acquire work permits for their foreign workers. The ministry began to close businesses that did not comply after the deadline expired last week.

Over the past few days, hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have staged protests in the capital Beirut and around their refugee camps. 

Palestinian refugees expressed their anger on Tuesday at the decision, carrying out a general strike and protests across 12 camps.

The protests, under the slogan “Day of Anger,” paralyzed movement in the camps.

Protesters closed the entrances with burning tires. All Palestinian political forces and popular committees took part in the protests.

Palestinian refugees are not entitled to work in 72 professions in Lebanon, and are not permitted access to social security. One of the contradictions of the law is that Palestinians have the right to purchase a taxi, but are forbidden to work in it. 

The Palestinian labor force is present in fragile sectors such as construction and small crafts.

Problems arise among Palestinians who graduate from Lebanese universities and cannot work in their specialties because of trade union limitations.

According to a study by the LPDC, there are 174,422 registered Palestinians in Lebanon.



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