Tuesday, January 20, 2009

4000 Indian workers exploited in Singapore, Malaysia

Seelan: If you know of any migrant workers that need help urgently, please contact TWC2 and HOME, 2 local NGOs that focus on transient worker welfare.

Workers (I'd stress on manual labourers) from China are also being ill treated and many have been recently shipped out without proper "closure". A whole series of articles on that entitled "Muddy Singapore swallows China workers" is available at yawningbread.org

4000 Indian workers exploited in Singapore, Malaysia
Source: Express News Service

CHENNAI: About 4,000 Indian domestic workers in Singapore and Malaysia are subjected to abuse and sexual exploitation by their employers, most of whom hail from Tamil Nadu, according to Qudsia Gandhi, chairman and MD, Overseas Manpower Corporation-Tamil Nadu.

The domestic workers are also misled into believing that they will be paid well, she told reporters at a function to mark National Domestic Workers Day, organised by the Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers Movement, on Sunday. “Most often the work promised by the employers is never offered,” she said.

With negligible or no job security in place, the Indian domestic workers, most of whom hail from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, lead a precarious life in those countries.

Asked about the action being taken to alleviate the workers suffering, she said NGOs would soon be taken into confidence and measures to counter the atrocities would be discussed with them. “We will submit a petition to the Chief Minister and, if necessary, approach the Centre to stem the evil.”

Earlier, U Vasuki, State aecretary, All India Democratic Women’s Federation, said it was time for domestic workers to stand up and fight for their rights.

The plight of domestic workers earned public sympathy after initiating various awareness programmes, she said adding it was important for employers who hired the workers to show magnanimity towards them.

A memorandum will be submitted to the Chief Minister and the Labor Secretary by coordinators of the Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers Movement on Monday to highlight their demands including stipulation of fixed wages for domestic workers, besides total abolition of child labour in domestic households in the state.


Anonymous said...

I was searching for information on Tamil workers in Singapore because my sisters husbands family are Tamil (from Tamil India). I saw how some of the workers who came over to Singapore were being treated (living in shipping containers etc). Could I contact you because I am doing a PhD in this area? thanks

Gianni Wise

Seelan Palay said...

Sure, please email me at seelanpalay@gmail.com