ebay ugg boots Thousands rally for Indonesian maid mistreated in Hong Kong
Thousands of people have rallied in Hong Kong to demand justice for a young Indonesian maid who was badly beaten by her employer.
It’s a case that has sparked widespread outrage and a police investigation into accusations of torture.
The ill treatment of foreign domestic workers in Asian and Gulf regions such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Dubai has been a longstanding problem.
But the severe injuries suffered by the Indonesian maid have drawn fresh attention to the risks faced by this migrant community.
“We are workers, we are not slaves,” chanted a crowd of several thousand domestic workers and their supporters as they marched to Hong Kong’s government headquarters.
Some waved the red and white flag of Indonesia, while others held up grisly photographs of the battered face and body of the 23 year old maid, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih.
“We have to end modern day slavery like this,” said Ila Hasan, 32, a domestic worker from Indonesia’s island of Java.
“The employer isn’t human, these things shouldn’t happen.”
Hong Kong, a former British territory that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has about 300,000 foreign domestic helpers, most of them from the Philippines and Indonesia.
While cases of such harsh treatment are rare, Hong Kong’s policies on migrant workers have often made maids reluctant to report abuse for fear of losing their livelihoods and being deported if they fail to find new jobs swiftly.
Hong Kong police and the labour bureau are now investigating the case and will interview Erwiana on Monday, say advocacy groups.
A second maid, identified only as Susi, who claimed to have been abused by the same employer, also gave a statement to police, saying she had frequently been beaten and abused.
No formal charges have yet been made against the Hong Kong employer, who also reportedly threatened to kill Erwiana and her family if she revealed the abuse she suffered.
Recovering in hospitalErwiana is now recovering from her injuries at a hospital in Sragen, a city in central Java, after flying out of Hong Kong in early January.
“I want the ones who tortured and wronged my daughter to be prosecuted and have justice done,” said her father, Rohmad Saputra.
The maid had suffered extensive injuries but her condition was stabilising, a hospital spokesman said.
Rights groups demanded a review of Hong Kong’s migrant worker policies to tackle issues such as overcharging by job agencies and the “two week rule”, referring to the deadline by which maids must leave the city after losing their jobs.