Thursday, 12 July 2012

Migrant domestic workers protest live-in conditions in HK

Joanna Chiu
Jul 12, 2012 South China Morning Post

Activist Eni Lestari (left) is angered by helpers being forced to sleep in places such as near toilets.

Domestic workers complained of being treated like "slaves" yesterday as they protested against a ban on living outside their employers' homes, and demanded that rules protecting their rights are enforced properly.
A group of about 40 women from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, along with half a dozen male workers and about 20 supporters chanted "we are workers, we are not slaves" as they gathered outside Immigration Tower in Wan Chai. 

Sri Lankan Domestic workers in Jorden seek help from Tamkeen for Legal Aid

By Maryam Azwer/ Thursday, July 12, 2012 The Sunday Leader

A Jordan-based NGO said they have recorded around 110 complaints from Sri Lankan migrant workers from January to June this year.
According to Madhu Shanika Liyanage, a social worker attached to Jordan’s Tamkeen for Legal Aid, the complaints received from Sri Lankan domestic migrant workers usually range from unpaid salaries, to physical or sexual abuse.

Liyanage also said that these domestic workers sometimes ran away from their homes due to several other reasons, the most common being nostalgia and an inability to deal with the gap in cultures.
Tamkeen General Manager, Linda Alkalash, said that complaints were recorded mainly from workers who directly approached the Tamkeen office. “We receive cases mostly from Sri Lankans, mainly because they are the ones who know more about us,” she said, adding that people got to know about Tamkeen chiefly via word of mouth.

Friday, 6 July 2012

HRW also concerned over Thailands plan for pregnant migrant domestic workers

July 5, 2012 Human Rights Watch 

(New York) – Thailand’s government should scrap the labor minister’s proposed regulation to deport migrant workers who become pregnant, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposal discriminates against women workers and would not advance the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s stated aim of reducing human trafficking.

On June 26, 2012, Labor Minister Padermchai Sasomsap announced a plan to send home migrant workers who authorities learn are three to four months’ pregnant. He stated that this would curb the use of migrant child labor by reducing the number of migrant children in Thailand. He maintained this measure would help respond to the US State Department’s recent classification of Thailand in the “Tier 2 Watch List” as a country making consistently poor efforts to eliminate human trafficking.

Contract problems for migrant domestic workers in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA (July 3, 2012): The 29 domestic helpers from East Java are being denied their full rights as the employment contract which they signed with the maid agencies is “different” from the one approved by both governments. 

They were brought in by the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) and have been working in Malaysia for a month.

Dominican Republic to ratify the domestic workers convention

Santo Domingo, 30 June 2012 (ITUC OnLine): The 300,000 domestic wokers in the Dominican Republic are set to gain coverage under labour laws following an announcement by Labour Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito at a meeting organised in Santo Domingo by the ITUC and its three affiliates CASC, CNUS and CNTD. Drafting of the new law will start this week, and it is expected to be adopted by Parliament within three months, along with ratification of ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers.

“The time for domestic workers to have their rights respected and their dignity restored is overdue” said Sharan Burrow the ITUC GS. “The ITUC is eagerly waiting for the Dominican Congress to ratify the ILO Convention and for public authorities to implement it. This will make a huge difference to the lives of both migrant and Dominican women working hard from dawn to dusk without any rights and protection,” she said.