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Domestic helper allegedly made to sleep below toilet pipe, posts photos of poor living conditions

Netizens express outrage at the employers' mistreatment of domestic helper.

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Update from MOM: 

MOM is aware of a FB post from a foreign domestic worker (FDW) claiming that her employer has provided her with an uncomfortable sleeping area.

The photo in the FDW’s post showed only a section of her room. What was not shown was the other section in the room where there was ample space for her to reposition the mattress. MOM has inspected the FDW’s personal room on 29 May 2019 and found that her room provided ample space for her to sleep comfortably. MOM officers also interviewed the FDW and she shared that she did not face any employment nor well-being issues. She was happy working for the family.

MOM is aware of a FB post from a foreign domestic worker (FDW) claiming that her employer has provided her with an…

Posted by Singapore Ministry of Manpower on Wednesday, 29 May 2019

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A domestic helper working in Singapore took to a support group on social media to share photos of her poor living conditions.

In her post, the woman who looks to be in her twenties wrote in Tagalog, “Good morning, is it ok that your room is like this? If it’s under the bathroom or if you stand up you hit your head. What should I do?”

Related: Maid sends in video showing that her employer gave her rice in a bin filled with insects

Her post was accompanied by images of a very cramped space, barely enough to fit half the length of a mattress. Directly above her sleeping space were also many pipes, and a window, which as the woman implied, was that of a bathroom.

From the photos, it did not seem as if her sleeping space was in an actual room, more so like it was a small alcove at the back of the house. She barely seemed to be sheltered from the elements if not for a set of blinds. There were also no indications of any fan that she might have.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, a Foreign Domestic Worker’s (FDW) accommodation must adequately protect her from environmental elements such as sun, rain or strong winds. Employers must minimally provide their FDW with a mattress, pillow, blanket, bathroom amenities and toiletries. The FDW’s accommodation must be sufficiently ventilated. Mechanical ventilation (e.g. electrical fan) must be provided if natural ventilation is inadequate.

The requirements are also such that the FDW must not sleep near any dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her. She also should be provided with a separate room. If that is not possible, employers must ensure that her accommodation has adequate space and privacy.

Netizens who commented on the post were outraged at the apparent lack of humanity.

TISG has reached out to the domestic helper for further comment. /TISG

Read related: Maid commits suicide after being locked up for three months straight

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