The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) strongly condemns the violence against Eden, a Filipino migrant domestic worker here in Hong Kong, and demands timely justice for Eden.
The AMCB is alarmed at the reports of brutal abuse of yet another migrant domestic worker at the hands of her employer. This news of abuse of migrant workers is however not new to us with the case of Indonesian migrant worker Erwiana still on our minds.
During the 14-months of employment, Eden was never allowed to leave her employer’s home, forced to sleep in her employer’s study room. Her employer, Mrs. Mak, a teacher by profession, forbade Eden from taking her weekly rest day purportedly in the protection against COVID-19. Instead Eden was allowed 2 hours of rest before resuming work.
Eden fled her employer on May 30 after finding the courage to escape and free herself from the brutal abuse from her employer. The employer repeatedly assaulted Eden with a frying pan. Over the length of Eden’s employment, her employer often slapped, kicked and scratched her face, back and legs, and hit her chest so hard that Eden could not breathe. These assaults were made simply because Eden’s ward wouldn’t stop crying or finish his food. Her body bore signs of prolonged abuse as some of the wounds were healing or had healed while others were still raw by the time she was able to escape.
5 月 30 日，Eden鼓起勇氣逃離並擺脫了僱主的殘酷虐待，從她僱主的家逃走。而在此之前，僱主一再以煎鍋襲擊Eden。而在Eden受僱期間，她的僱主經常掌摑、腳踢和抓傷Eden的臉、背部和雙腳，甚至非常用力地擊打Eden的胸膛，導致她無法呼吸。而這些襲擊背後的原因，僅僅是因為Eden照顧的幼兒沒有停止哭泣及吃完他的食物。她的身體上有被長期虐待的跡象，能看到有些傷口正在或經已癒合，而其他傷口在她能夠逃走時仍然流血，並未癒合。
There will be more Eden’s because the HK government policies on migrant workers employment’ leads MDWs in Hong Kong working as modern-day slaves. Policies such as the mandatory live-in policy, no regulation on suitable living conditions and no regulated working hours left Eden and many migrant domestic workers vulnerable for abuse. Already burdensome working conditions that have grown more burdensome in the light of the continuing global pandemic. Many MDWs are now faced with additional workload and longer working hours, and like Eden, are denied their weekly day off “to limit spread of COVID-19”, forcing them to work 7 days a week in their employer’s home. The denial of rest days for MDWs has been supported by various HK government departments and officials.
To stop the violence and abuse, we demand the Hong Kong government to stop the accusations of job hopping. Many MDWs are suffering in silence like Eden did for months as they are scared to leave their jobs and be accused of job hopping and denied a new visa. MDWs are human beings and we deserve the same basic respect and rights of the wider HK community including the right to change our employer if the working conditions are not good.
為了停止暴力和虐待，我們要求香港政府停止「跳工」的指控。 許多移民家務工就如Eden 一樣，在多個月以來一直沉默受苦，因為他們害怕辭退工作後會被指控為「跳工」，並被拒絕新的工作簽證。 移民家務工是人，我們應該得到與香港社會大眾同樣的基本尊重和權利，包括在工作條件不佳時轉換僱主的權利。
We call on the Hong Kong government to move timely to ensure justice for Eden. The government must move fast not just to investigate the accusations of Eden against her employer but further ensure a swift and speedy trial of her employer. The government must also ensure there are no hurdles in her way as she pursues justice. Lastly we call on the government to change its policies of discriminating and putting MDWs in a very vulnerable and unbearable situations.
我們呼籲香港政府及時採取行動，為Eden伸張公義。 政府必須迅速採取行動，不僅要調查Eden對其僱主的控訴，還要進一步確保從速對其僱主進行訴訟。 政府還必須確保在她尋求公義的過程中沒有障礙。 最後，我們呼籲政府改變其歧視和將移民家務工置於非常脆弱和無法忍受的境地之政策。
As Eden is pursuing justice here in Hong Kong, we call on the Philippine consulate in HK to provide all the necessary support to Eden and to her family back in the Philippines. She is unable to work now and cannot send them support to survive. The Philippine government must support Eden and her family as the government’s very own Labor Export Policy is responsible for sending her abroad. Had there been access to meaningful employment back in the Philippines, Eden would not have applied to work overseas to begin with.
The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body will not cease in our calls for justice for Eden and all abused migrant domestic workers. We are workers, we are not slaves.
Justice for Eden!
End Modern-Day Slavery!