Domestic workers will continue to be abused until there are tougher laws to protect them

Source: The Star Online

A display used in “Domestic Workers, Not Slaves”public awareness campaign, organised by advertising agency McCann Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with Tenaganita, held in 2012 at a mall in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: The Star filepics

They are the first ones to wake up in the household and often, the last to go to bed. In between, they slave it out – cooking, cleaning, taking care of children and the elderly, grooming and walking pets, washing cars, gardening and attending to all other needs of the household.

These are the daily tasks of most domestic workers. They work hard and they work long, yet are disqualified from basic protections that workers enjoy: fixed working hours, leave days, medical coverage or even fair wages.

This lack of legal protection leaves domestic workers with virtually no rights; vulnerable to exploitation and abuse which human rights activists want the government to address immediately.

Failure to do this is likely to result in more fatalities. In January, Indonesian domestic worker Adelina Lisao died in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Lisao is just one in a long list of domestic workers who have suffered at the hands of abusive employers. Read more