Erwiana Sulistyaningsih greeted the news that her employer had been jailed for six years after subjecting her to months of abuse with a warning: the case was just the tip of the iceberg. The 24-year-old Indonesian was in the District Court in Wan Chai to see Law Wan-tung sentenced yesterday before joining campaigners outside to call for continued efforts to improve working conditions for Hong Kong's domestic workers. "I hope that the people in Hong Kong will remain vigilant against slavery and exploitation of migrant domestic workers," she said. "I hope that my sisters and brothers … will have the courage to stand up against exploitation, slavery or any form of oppression." She added: "I am not the only one who suffered. There are many of us out there." While Erwiana will remain a symbol of the perils faced by the city's army of domestic workers, she is now studying management and economics after getting a scholarship to Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta - five hours from her home village on Java. It was only when her employer sent her home in January last year that Erwiana's ordeal came to light, when her bruised appearance at Chek Lap Kok raised concern. Before then, Erwiana had been prevented from leaving Law's flat. It is mandatory for foreign domestic workers to live in employers' homes. Another rule requires domestic workers to leave the city within two weeks should their employment contract be terminated, making it difficult to follow through against employers. Erwiana urged the government to make the live-in arrangement optional, and to take away the two-week rule. Likewise, in her judgment, District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock said similar abuse cases could be prevented if domestic helpers were not forced to live with their employers. Woodcock also criticised the "significant" placement fees that were deducted from helpers' wages by agencies. "These are the policies that unscrupulous employers and agencies use to perpetuate abuses against foreign domestic workers," said Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers. She said the government had to realise that putting "bad employers" like Law behind bars did not solve the issue. Instead, it had to reform rules detrimental to the rights of migrants. However, last night a spokesman for the Labour Department described the live-in requirement as the cornerstone of the government's policy on importing foreign domestic helpers. He added that the department would prosecute any employment agencies who were charging helpers more than 10 per cent of their first month's salary.