More than 500 women from Myanmar have been barred from leaving their country to work as maids in Singapore. The employment agencies said that the ban has been applied since the past three weeks due to the ill-treatment and abuse of maids.
Gary Chin, the managing director of Nation Employment said, “We used to have about 20 maids from Myanmar coming in every week”. K Jayaprema, the president of the Association of Employment Agencies Singapore said that at least 15 agencies have been affected. Some of the agencies even tried to escape the ban by getting the women apply for tourists visas or flying them through a third country.
However, the Myanmar government immediately caught hold of the tactics used by such agencies. In September 2014, the labour ministry showed concern over the abuse and ill-treatment of the maids and also imposed a five month ban. But the women on the other hand denied the ban and continued to come for work. In 2014, there were reportedly 30,000 maids from Myanmar working in Singapore.
Myanmar is the third most popular country after Philippines and Indonesia in terms of domestic workers. Till March 2014, women from Myanmar were not allowed to work as maids, after which the government made a rule that the maids must receive a minimum salary of $450 and get at least a day off in a month.
Photo Credits: straitstimes