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China: Around The Nation

Chinese nanny caught abusing baby sparks debate on domestic help in China

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 6:21pm

A nanny caught on film mistreating her infant charge has reopened debate in China about the trustworthiness of nannies, following a recent case in which another nanny allegedly killed her employer and her three children in an apartment fire.

On Friday, a housekeeper in Changsha, Hunan province, was seen on home surveillance camera forcing the one-year-old boy to her breast, as well as other mistreatments, including slapping his face and hitting him with a broom, Hunan Economic Television Station reported on Monday.

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“I cannot understand the nanny’s behaviour at all,” the boy’s mother said on TV while describing how the events happened while she and her husband were at work on Friday.

The housekeeper rolled up her T-shirt and pressed the baby’s lips on her bare chest, according to video footage caught by a surveillance camera installed by the parents.

They said it was the first time they had left the boy with the nanny, who joined the family recently.

“I don’t know whether she has any transmittable diseases. I hope she will have a check up,” the mother said.

The housekeeper said she lashed out at the boy because he kept pulling at her clothes, and she was feeling depressed. She said the mother slapped her on the face when she came home, which made her feel ill.

A hospital gave the housekeeper a medical examination and a doctor declared her healthy. She was fired but not prosecuted, according to the report.

The incident added to nationwide concern about the behaviours of housekeepers on the mainland. Last month, a nanny allegedly set fire to a luxury flat in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, killing mother and her three children.

Many internet users called for stricter regulation of the industry after incidents involving nannies emerged recently.

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“Is it that difficult to rectify the homemaking industry? Are there not enough incidents of that kind already? Why don’t governments take action? ” one wrote on social media, referring to the tragedy in Hangzhou.

“[The authorities] should build up an online blacklist for employers to check the employment records of nannies for previous misbehaviour,” another commented on Thepaper.cn.

On the mainland, salaries of housekeepers have risen rapidly in recent years. In big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the base salary of an experienced nanny is 4,000 yuan (HK$4,600) a month, higher than for Filipino maids in Hong Kong.