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As a domestic worker who has been in Singapore for XXX years, it troubles me each time I read reports in the media about domestic workers who are abused, exploited or badly treated. The latest article about how some of my compatriots are being ‘displayed’ by agencies is a cause for concern. We are human beings with rights.
If the agencies are indeed displaying these women in their shops and giving them fake training, I hope the Ministry of Manpower and the Association of Employment Agencies will take action to stop this practice.
As many domestic workers already receive training in their countries of origin and incur huge recruitment fees as part of their cost for such training, it is puzzling that the agencies claim they are providing training at their premises in full view of passers by. We are not models to be gawked at.
The way domestic workers are ‘marketed’ is also troubling. Phrases like ‘free replacement’ ‘no day off’ in marketing materials treat us like goods to be exchanged and sold. As a domestic worker, we make many important contributions to Singapore society. Many of us work round the clock to look after Singaporean families. The least we ask for is that we are given the dignity we deserve as human beings.
Ms Neljean Hermitanio