Brought to the UK by wealthy foreigners as they settle in the country, a Filipino woman shares her story with British broadcaster ITV.
I’m starting working around 4.30 in the morning, until 1 o’clock in the morning. I’m sleeping only in the kitchen. I’m not allowed to take shower, even brush my teeth – I need to ask permission. Going to the toilet I need to ask them. I’m crying the whole time that I’m lying on the floor.
Her assessment of her life as migrant domestic worker in Britain employed by a wealthy foreigner who brought her along with his family to London reveals life unimaginable in a so-called progressive society.
It’s worse than Saudi Arabia, because they treat me like a prisoner. They never even give me a single pound to buy my own food, even my personal things. Especially one time I have monthly period here, I’m using only the nappy of their boy.
Even when the government proudly present the Modern Slavery Bill, currently being deliberated at the Parliament, such instances of abuse towards lowly-paid overworked foreign domestic workers continue to persist. But while the Bill has gathered praise around the world, it seems that the British government, the article alleges, turns a blind eye on the maltreatment of domestic workers brought to British shores by rich foreigners and diplomats.
Since 2012, visa rules for foreign domestic workers were revised. Before, they were allowed to change employers if they experienced abuse or unhappy with their employers. They could find a new job and apply to get their visa renewed. The system was praised as model of fair play and described by the United Nations as “instrumental in facilitating the escape of migrant domestic workers from exploitative and abusive situations.”
But all that changed in 2012 when workers brought into the UK were to be tied with the employers who brough them there. That meant they had no legal right to leave their job, even if they were exploited. Should they attempt to escape, they are in immediate breach of the country’s immigration law. As they become reluctant to go to the police, they turn to the black market where they become more vulnerable yet to more exploitation.
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