Foreign domestic helpers, also known as domestic workers, are individuals who migrate to foreign countries in order to work as domestic workers. In particular, the majority of foreign domestic helpers come from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. While domestic helpers enjoy many perks in terms of compensation, it is important to understand their rights and responsibilities, especially since they are in a foreign land. Therefore, in this blog, we will delve into the daily lives of Foreign domestic helper (外傭) and discuss some of their major rights and responsibilities.
As domestic helpers migrate to foreign countries to work, they have to comply with the laws and regulations of the host countries. Among their rights is the right to a minimum wage, which is determined by the government. Moreover, they are entitled to at least one day of rest per week. Additionally, they have the right to access health care, including insurance and medical attention in the event of illness or injury. In some countries, domestic helpers are allowed to practice their religion, provided they do not interfere with their work.
Subsequently, families who employ domestic helpers have the responsibility to provide them with decent living accommodations, which includes clean private rooms, meals, and access to restroom facilities. Additionally, employers must provide the domestic helpers with legal employment contracts, which clearly stipulate the salaries and benefits the domestic helpers are entitled to. Employers also have the responsibility to ensure that the work environment adheres to all safety regulations and is free of harassment and abuse.
Despite the rights of domestic helpers being protected by law, they are often not treated fairly. Many domestic helpers are subjected to long working hours, verbal or physical abuse, and sexual harassment. Employers often take away their communication devices, making it difficult for them to contact anyone else except their employers. Some domestic helpers also have their passports confiscated by their employers, making it difficult for them to return home or find another job if they wish to leave the current employer.
In countries like the Philippines, the government has enacted policies to ensure the rights of domestic helpers. For instance, the Kasambahay Law, a set of laws governing domestic workers was passed in 2013 to protect domestic helpers against discrimination, violence, and exploitation. These laws stipulate higher wages, the provision of government-mandated benefits, and limits on the working hours of domestic helpers. However, not all countries have laws like those in the Philippines, which is why it is important that countries enact laws that protect domestic helpers.
Foreign domestic helpers are an important part of the global workforce. However, despite the laws designed to protect them, many are subjected to poor working conditions that infringe on their rights. We need to work together to ensure that domestic helpers are treated fairly and compensated appropriately. Moreover, employers must understand the responsibilities that come with hiring a domestic worker, including providing decent living conditions and ensuring that their work environment is safe and non-discriminatory. Through this, domestic helpers will not just be treated fairly and their rights protected, but they will also be able to work with dignity and respect.