May* was 16 years old when she migrated to Lebanon to take a job as a domestic worker. Upon her parent’s death, she became the head of the household, responsible to support her younger brothers and sisters. Unable to find work in Ethiopia, May was left with no choice but to migrate to Lebanon. She paid an agent to find her first employer, for whom she worked for almost one year receiving a salary of 150 USD a month. Once she changed employers, the exploitation worsened. For 6 months May didn’t receive any salary. When she would ask for it, they would threaten and beat her.
Eventually she sought refuge in the embassy, who took her to a government shelter where she stayed for 2 months with other Ethiopian migrants who were also seeking asylum. May ended up leaving the shelter to re-start working, but after 4 months she fell ill and was not able to work anymore. With the support from the embassy and the Egna Legna Besidet NGO, May was able to return back to Ethiopia. IOM GAF supported her return and repatriation by providing shelter, food, PPE items, medical and legal assistance, as well as in-ground transportation in Lebanon and Ethiopia.
*Name modified for the purpose of anonymity.