Monday, October 26, 2009

Maid dies after being 'beaten, locked in toilet' in Malaysia - This must stop

Cut off from friends and society, and forced to remain 24 hours 7 days a week in the premises of the employer is one of the reasons why workers can suffer abuse...torture and even death. Some employers also prevent access to phones and other forms of communication.

The recent reported case of torture and death of a domestic worker calls for a serious look at working & living conditions, and also rights of these domestic workers.

The domestic worker is a human is something that many employers tend to forget.

The domestic worker is a worker...not a slave...not a possession or property that one is free to do with as one pleases.

Who protects the rights of domestic workers? They do not have a UNION, or even some association of their own, Kept isolated in 'homes' of their employers, they are easy prey...

There must be changes in Malaysia...and rights of these workers must be acknowledged and respected...

What are the basic rights that all domestic migrant workers must have?

- The right to have one(1) rest day per week [During this 'rest day' they must be given full liberty to go out of their employer's homes...]

- The right to public holidays, annual leave, medical leave, maternity/paternity leave, compassionate leave just like any other workers.

- The right to healthcare and access to doctors/hospitals

- The right to proper living conditions in the homes of their employer. [There must be a law stating minimum standards of living conditions of domestic workers. This law must also take into account personal privacy.]

- The right to overtime rate of pay. The normal daily working hours of the domestic worker should not exceed a total of 8 hours per day. [Employers should be required to fix the times of work, which may not be continuous but should not exceed 8 hours. If the worker is required to work more than 8 hours, there must be the entitlement to overtime pay - but reasonably the maximum number of hours of work per day should never exceed 10 hours per day or 48 hours per week] If an employer needs a domestic worker 24 hours a day, then they should be allowed to employ more than 1 domestic worker.

AN Indonesian maid who was allegedly severely beaten by her Malaysian employers, and then bound and locked up in a toilet for two days, has died in hospital, police said.

A Malaysian market vendor and his wife have been arrested over the abuse of 36-year-old Mautik Hani from Surabaya, in the latest in a series of cases that have prompted Indonesia to temporarily ban sending domestic workers here.

The neighbours are negotiating a deal on salaries and conditions aimed at preventing mistreatment of maids, who currently have no legal safeguards on their working conditions.

"I can confirm that Mautik Hani has died in hospital," district police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop told AFP.

"We have to wait for the hospital's report on her cause of death before deciding on the next course of action regarding her employers. They are still being detained," he added.

Hani was rescued from her employers' home a week ago. She was found by another Indonesian cleaner hired to replace her who noticed a foul smell coming from a locked bathroom.

Police said that when she was found she was tied up around her arms and legs, and was bruised all over her body. Among her injuries were a serious wound to the right leg that exposed the bone.

Local papers reported Hani had been abused by her employers almost daily during the two months she worked at their home.

One of Asia's largest importers of labour, Malaysia depends heavily on domestic workers, mainly from Indonesia, but has been criticised for not passing legislation to govern their rights and conditions.

In May, the government announced plans for new laws to protect domestic workers from sexual harassment, non-payment of wages and poor working conditions.

Indonesian maids typically work seven days a week for as little as 400 ringgit ($122) a month. (AFP) -, 26/10/2009, Maid dies after being 'beaten, locked in toilet'

Malaysiakini - Police: Abused Indonesian maid is dead
The Strait Times:- Abused maid dies in M'sia

There have been other cases of deaths of domestic workers in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: An Indonesian maid known only as Kartini who was found dead this afternoon with bruises to the head is believed to have been a victim of abuse by her employer at a terrace house in Section 17.

Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said one of the employer's adult children contacted the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) at 2pm asking for emergency aid. However, due to the location HKL informed Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM) which sent an ambulance at 3.25pm.

"On arrival, the medical team found the maid, in her 20s, lying dead in the living room," he told Bernama. The team suspected foul play as there were bruises and injuries to the body and then contacted the police.

Arjunaidi said the Indonesian maid only started working at the house two months ago. The house was occupied by a 75 year-old man who has advanced cancer, his sick wife, a son in his 30s and a daughter in her 20s.

"Police have summoned the employer's two children to determine the real cause of the maid's death," he said.

The body was sent to PPUM for a post-morten while the case was investigated under Section 302 of Penal Code for murder.— BERNAMA, Malay Mail, 23/5/2009, Indonesian maid dies from alleged abuse in Section 17, PJ

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