A domestic helper working in Singapore took to a support group on social media to ask for advice about her poor living conditions.
Her post was a video that showed a small store room that had cabinets on both sides of the wall. A mattress was propped up on the left, but a clothing steamer and shirts were hung on the right side.
There was also a vacuum cleaner, luggage bags and an ironing board in the room, making the space even more cramped.
The width of the room looked to be smaller than the width of the mattress.
According to the person who submitted the post for the domestic helper, they allege, “Employer make FDW sleep in cramped storage room with no fan or any ventilation? She wanted to transfer (sic) but she’s scared her employer. Also the agency don’t want to help her because the employer and agency owner are best friend”.
In a support group for foreign domestic workers, another helper also asked, “Hi to all members (sic)..Did you sleep in storage room?”
While it is unclear if the two posts are related, many of the domestic helpers who commented on the post said that they too were made to sleep in storage rooms as well, and that seemed to be the status quo.
Earlier this year in May, another domestic helper working in Singapore took to the 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?”
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.
However, following Ministry of Manpower investigations, they said, “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”.
TISG has reached out to the Ministry of Manpower for clarification on the video.
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