Statement by the AUB Faculty United Executive Committee on Work Permits

AUB Faculty United condemns the Ministry of Labor’s selective discrimination against some foreign nationals seeking employment or work permit renewals at AUB. The Ministry’s in-action is a clear violation of basic human rights, and in direct contravention of agreements and charters signed by the Lebanese Government.

We are especially concerned by the Minister of Labor’s excessive delays in processing (and in some cases refusing to grant) work permits to Syrian, Palestinian and Ethiopian faculty and staff, except if they are employed in low-skilled and low-wage jobs.  While these actions officially aim to “protect Lebanese workers from foreign competition,” they are discriminatory in their focus on specific nationality and racial groups and not others (e.g. American or European nationals).

These discriminatory behaviors violate the most basic rights and freedoms upheld by the American University of Beirut,  and challenge AUB’s mission statement which seeks to recruit the most qualified faculty and staff to serve its community regardless of race, nationality, sect, or gender.

AUB Faculty United requests that the Ministry of Labor grant meritorious work and residency permits to faculty and staff of the University in a timely and non-discriminatory manner. We also call upon the Lebanese Government to reexamine other such decisions in order to ensure that no rights are violated by the very body that is responsible to protect them.

Sincerely,

AUB Faculty United Executive Committee

Faculty United is an independent association of full-time AUB faculty members and local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP.org). For more information on how to join Faculty United visit https://aubaaup.wordpress.com/