Indonesian domestic workers’ tales 

News 04 Nov 2015

Istianah

“I don’t like you. You should go back to Indonesia.” My employer repeatedly uttered these since I started work with her family. Her insulting attitude triggered fear and anxiety in me especially when she was angry.

I take care of her son and she would threaten me every day that if anything happened to her son she would call the police. Of course I was always afraid and depressed and could not concentrate with my work.

My employment contract was terminated a few months. I asked help from my recruitment agency but I did not get any money. A fellow Indonesian domestic worker brought me to the Mission For Migrant Workers so I could file claims from the HK Labour Department. The Mission later referred me to the Bethune House  for shelter.

Since I stayed in Bethune House, I found peace and also I learned about the other domestic workers’ cases.  I developed friends and this made me strong knowing that I am not alone in my fight for my rights.

I hope to find a new employer because I still want to work in Hong Kong. I must be strong and learn to be independent being a single parent so that I can help my daughter to have better life. I also need to support three family members- my mother, and my younger sister.

SUYEM

I am divorced and need to support my daughter and my sister. I was happy to get a job in Hong Kong after living in a training camp in Indonesia for seven months. My Chinese Malaysian employer was good to me but I needed to pay HK$3,000 for seven months to my recruitment agency. So I really could not send money to my family.

Besides, I feel really sad because during my 6 years of work in Hong Kong I did not have anything because I was cheated by my friend who used my document to borrow money from the bank but she did not pay this so I had to pay. With this bad experience working in Hong Kong, I cannot help my child and my sister who taking care of my child.

When my contract was terminated I asked help from the Mission because my employer did not pay my wages, air ticket and other monetary obligation. I stayed in Bethune House where I developed knowledge about domestic workers right and also about organization and other programs of the Mission.

Finally, I am now going back to Indonesia after winning all my claims for my air ticket, unpaid holidays, annual leave, and allowances with a total of seven thousand HK dollars. Thank you, Mission and Bethune House!

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