Employer watches maid’s every move
27-year-old Filipino domestic helper Dewie came to Singapore to earn more money to raise her young children.
But she soon decided to leave.
It wasn’t the hard work that deterred her – for her children, she could put up with the physically demanding manual labour and repeated scoldings from her employer.
The last straw came when she found out that her employer had installed a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) in the toilet.
Crossing the line
“Why are you taking so long in the toilet?”
“Why are you using my shampoo and not yours?”
These were some of the questions her employer asked, which triggered alarm bells in Dewie, for her employer was not home whenever she took a shower.
She later found a tiny camera installed in a corner of the toilet.
Following this discovery, Dewie approached non-governmental organisation Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2).
More cases of CCTVs being installed to monitor maids
A survey by HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) involving 670 domestic helpers revealed that one in five of them had surveillance cameras in her room.
Such infringements often go unreported, as the domestic helpers are afraid of losing their jobs.
In Dewie’s case, she was sent home after her employers found out that she had been talking to TWC2.
Respect is key
Domestic helpers are humans too and are entitled to their own privacy. Placing a CCTV in the bathroom is a blatant intrusion of privacy, and shows the lack of trust.
In search of a better life, these domestic helpers have left their homeland for a bigger paycheck in a foreign land to take care of our families.
The least we could do is to give them some respect and treat them like how we would want to be treated.
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