6 Dec 2005

Singapore: Domestic Workers Suffer Grave Abuses

Migrant Women Face Debt Burden and Exploitation

(Singapore, December 7, 2005) – Women migrant domestic workers in Singapore suffer grave abuses including physical and sexual violence, food deprivation, and confinement in the workplace, said Human Rights Watch in a new report released today.

At least 147 migrant domestic workers have died from workplace accidents or suicide since 1999, most by jumping or falling from residential buildings. Migrant domestic workers earn half the wages of Singaporean workers in similar occupations, such as cleaners or gardeners. Unpaid wages is a growing complaint.

"Many domestic workers labor without pay for months to settle debts to employment agencies, work long hours seven days a week, or are confined to their workplace,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Singapore’s refusal to extend ordinary labor protections to domestic workers is leaving them open to abuse.”

The 124-page report, “Maid to Order: Ending Abuses against Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore,” is based on more than one hundred in-depth interviews with domestic workers, government officials, and employment agents. It details a range of abuses endured by domestic workers in Singapore and the response of the Singaporean government.

Continue reading the article
Click here for the Full Report


Anonymous said...

that's brutal. :(

james said...

shame on you singapore!

Anonymous said...

Another "Üniquely Singapore" statistic that's put us on the world map yet again! Slave drivers are having a field day...suffer the little maids.

- singaporeans:amnesia-r-us

Anonymous said...

It is a matter of the individual employers that is to be blamed, not the nation!

Anonymous said...

USA supplied weapons to Osman Bin Laden. That's brutal of US! Shame on their adminstration!

UK forcefully formed the Jewish nation of Isreal. That's brutal! That's a leagacy! Shame on the UK's plot!

Australia's One Nation Party's anti-Asian stance. That's brutal! That's discrimination! Then again, it's a nation with a criminal heritage!

Malaysia's Bumiputra policy. That's consitutional unfairness!

But a Singaporean employer abusing his/her maid. In no way is adding up to Singapore being a brutal and barbaric nation where shame is to befall upon the country!

And by the way, those problems above may be good starting point for a positive change to the world and the society in question!

Wowbagger said...

While individual employers are to be blamed, there is something poisonous in the culture surrounding maid employers that they think that just because they are richer and more well-educated than their maids, they're entitled to abuse them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, individual employers are committing these atrocious acts in their personal capacities. But the country is culpable too. Why? Because the SYSTEM allows employers to do so in the first place.

It is really convenient to NOT have the necessary legislation in place to prevent abuses by employers. Parliament can always extend the Employment Act to cover domestic workers here so that they need not work 24/7 like slaves.

The question is why isn't this country ready to do so? Is it too bitter a pill for many households to swallow? Or is this a nation of snobs? It's long, long overdue. The Slave Age ended over a century ago.

- Singaporeans:amnesia-r-us

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