• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:58am
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih
NewsHong Kong

Labour minister pledges to punish unscrupulous maid agencies after beating allegations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 January, 2014, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 10:39am

The Hong Kong government has vowed to step up monitoring of employment agencies for foreign domestic helpers after two Indonesian maids alleged that their Hong Kong employer had tortured them separately.

"Any agency not in compliance with regulations will have their licence revoked -- on this, the government will not be light-handed," said Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, who expressed concern over Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih’s case.

Erwiana, 23, alleges she was beaten, burned and tortured by her employer to such an extent that she was left in a critical condition. A second maid, who gave her name as Bunga, claims she also worked for the same employer and experienced similar ordeals.

Indonesians are required to find jobs through employment agencies. Such agencies have come under criticism for failing to protect the interests of foreign maids since Erwiana’s case came to light.

Images of her injuries were circulated on social media and quickly caught international attention.

Cheung said foreign domestic helpers have the same access to legal protection as local workers, and urged helpers to report cases of abuse to the government.

"We do not tolerate any abuse and exploitation of foreign domestic helpers. They are part of the local workforce and we have the responsibility to protect them,” Cheung said.

"We will investigate all cases thoroughly," he reiterated.

Cheung said such cases could be seen from time to time but he stressed that the numbers were not high.

Police have been in contact with Interpol, and will be flying to Indonesia for Sulistyaningsih’s testimony.

Cheung said the truth about the case will come to light once the police have completed their investigation.


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This article is now closed to comments

still no name of the perpetrator
but the scmp does not mind plastering the name of the poor abused girl
more liberal media hypocrisy at work
Sheesh, just how big and mean is this employer woman? Couldn't the maids hit back or struggle if defending their own lives on the balcony? SCMP knows the address of the employer and knocked on their door, it reported yesterday. Something fishy about the story but not clear what it is yet.
Dai Muff
The perpetrator here is not an agency but a Hong Kong woman, with at least the knowledge of her husband. Get it right. If you can't figure out who should be punished you are worthless.
Dai Muff
Liberal? SCMP? Which planet?
The agencies are a major problem. Many don't care about the welfare of the helpers. They only care about making money. They break Hong Kong law by overcharging helpers. Some collude with money lenders to put the helper in debt.
Helpers then have to stay with abusive employers. If they leave their employer they have to pay the agency again to find them a new employer (getting further into debt), or go home- deeply in debt.
"What have the employment agencies to do with this? Other reports have mentioned that the agency held her passport and when she complained to them they told her to go back to the employer until the agency's 'fee' was paid. Not the same level of wrongdoing as the perpetrator but still wrong.
Did the agency beat her? Am I missing something here?
You guys are right. What have the employment agencies to do with this? Maybe Matthew thinks the agencies gave the employer the green light to torture her LOL.
Thanks. Then SCMP needs to know what they are writing about. The article seems to relate the agencies to the torture this woman suffered.


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