HELPERS – Another Domestic Maid Tortured by HK Employer Flees; Hospitalised. 22


(N.B. Graphic images below) Erwiana Sulistayaniangsih, a foreign domestic helper from Indonesia, fled Hong Kong last week after being beaten by her employer in Tsueng Kwan O for months on end.

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Erwiana safe in Java

Indonesian NGO ‘Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia di Hong Kong‘ (ATKI) said that Erwiana came to the city last May and was beaten daily for 8 months with sticks and hangers for performing poorly at her job. She was released when she was no longer able to walk and was allowed to return home with HK$100. Throughout her ordeal, she was warned not to speak to any other Indonesians.

The name and address of her former employer have been published online as the photos went viral amongst HK’s Indonesian community.

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Ms Sringatin from the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union said that.”Everyday they beat her, they poured hot water on her hands and feet. The employer said she was lazy. She tried to contact the agency in Indonesia but the agency didn’t do anything. They asked her to continue her job…”

Upon arriving in Java last week, Erwian’s legs were bleeding. She posted photos of her condition to her helper friends back in Hong Kong and her parents sent her to hospital where she apparently remains now.

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Photos taken by a friend last Friday at Hong Kong airport, via ATKI

Her local employment agent, Chan’s Asia Recruitment, have denied ignoring her complaints, according to ATKI. Officers at HK Immigration asked if she wanted to press charges, but Erwian denied being beaten and said she simply wished to go home.

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Hundreds of migrant workers gathered at the Indonesian Consulate at 4pm yesterday demonstrating their solidarity and protesting against domestic helper abuse in Hong Kong. Tonight, local NGO Open Door will gather in Tseung Kwan O to speak to residents and express sympathy for Erwiana.

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via Apple Daily

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Leo Tang from the HKCTU said, “This case highlights that the live-in rule is open to abuse. It needs to be a choice between employer and employee”. Today’s photos emerged months after another case of torture against a domestic helper made headlines around the world.

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via Apple Daily

A 2012 Mission for Migrant Workers survey found that 58% of workers had faced verbal abuse, 18% had suffered physical abuse and 6% had been sexually abused.

58% of workers had faced verbal abuse, 18% had suffered physical abuse and 6% had been sexually abused

The internationally condemned ‘two-week’ rule, and the fact helpers must live with their employers, makes it unlikely they will report or leave abusive situations, particularly when there is an obligation to send money home or repay debts to agencies.

Both the 'two-week' and 'live-in' rules are unfair, discriminatory and prevent helpers from escaping abusive situations

2014 is a year for action on this issue. The HK Helpers Campaign launches this month with an action centre to unite Hong Kongers against the discriminatory policies faced by the city’s helper community…

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Hong Wrong will have an update on this story tomorrow.

A preview of HK Helpers Campaign blog content:


  • chuckster007

    WTF is wrong with people that do this.

  • John

    Do you really think publishing the employer’s home address is necessary? What good is telling Joe Bloggs (no pun intended) the name and address on your blog (or a link to it) going to do? Hongkong still has a reasonable justice system, encouraging mob justice isn’t wise, ever, but especially when a mistake could have been made somewhere along the line – as has happened many time in the past.

    • Paul Christensen

      I imagine that the point of publishing the employer’s name is primarily in the hope that other potential employees will become aware of it and avoid being subjected to the same treatment. In situations like this I think protecting the next potential victim is at least as important as protecting the people who did this.

      I would hope that they are already on the blacklists of the Indonesian and Filipino Consulates.

      • John

        I don’t know how publishing the address makes people more aware? If someone is reading this article I imagine the pictures and text are sufficient and there is no need for an unverified address?

        The police and courts are in society for a good reason (even if you doubt their ability), and I doubt the blogger has sufficiently researched the details to know for sure whether the address is the same as that of the accused.

        Next time consider how you would feel if it was your address being published, and you had a violent encounter as a result of a blogger posting a link to an unverified address. Mistaken identity is easy to prove in court, but much harder to argue when faced with a violent thug wanting to take punishment into his own hands.

        • Tom

          To be clear, I never posted any address – I made a hyperlink to elsewhere on the internet where the picture is going viral.

          There is some justification for calling things out when the police don’t act: http://bit.ly/1akDyEN Nevertheless, I decided to remove it after a while, if only to stay within journalistic ethics on this kind of thing.

          • John

            A quote from Paul Dacre is your justification?
            Paul Dacre, Tom, really?
            The Daily Mail, Tom, really?

            To be fair to Dacre, three lines without a single swear word must have been tricky. I’m sure he made up for the lack of bad language throughout the rest of the day to his staff, mind!

            Joking aside, I think it was good of you to reply and remove the link – thanks.

          • Tom

            Yes, the Daily Mail are absolutely dreadful and all that is wrong with Britain. But the fact remains there would’ve been no justice for Stephen Lawrence without their coverage.

        • Romz Sobreviga Jr.

          This person named John is imbecile. I dont think its wise to keep the identity of someone who stole someone elses future by maltreating him or her. If this criminals get attacked by mob, its just right for them. They deserve the hate and they must be punished but I doubt coz Hongkong’s justice system is and has always been futile to foreign victims. It only works on their citizen’s advantage. Crap!

          • John

            I don’t think it’s wise to keep the identity of someone who stole someone else’s future by maltreating him or her, either – but first make sure you have the right person and to do that you need to give them a chance to defend themselves, because there’s always a risk you arrest/accuse the wrong person in the first instance. In this case there is also the risk that the address is simply incorrect and not even of the accused.

            The rights and wrongs of mobs attacking criminals is another story.

            *Edit: misread your comment RE: foreigners.

    • Mark Jackson

      Necessary or not, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. This being Hong Kong, it’s not likely they’re going to be lynched or anything. And if publishing their name means that when I happen to run into them in a restaurant I point at them and shout out for everyone to hear “Hey, these are the pieces of crap who tortured that domestic helper” and everyone stares at them, that’s just par for the course. And if someone just happens to walk up and spit in their faces, it really won’t be anything you ought to find excessive.

      Of course, if it were Mexico or the USA or Philippines or some other third world country where folks tend to commit vigilante acts, then I’d be more cautious about publishing the names and address.

  • http://hongkongdreaming.pl/ HongKongDreaming

    I cannot believe this. It’s absolutely scary to see what some Hong Kong people have in their minds? Whatever and however the course of human or labour interactions is, there is no justyfication for sth liks this. Totally inhuman!

  • Tanya Hart

    I don’t think HK people are weirder. I think the environment gives these people an opportunity.
    I think we should name and shame and target and inspect the agencies. They are undoubtedly the ones making a profit. I’ve heard of employers being warned by (Indonesian) agencies not to ‘spoil’ helpers by giving them full pay or days off. Obviously employers are responsible for their/our own actions, but agencies are the vector of this virus. The rat-fleas of this plague.

    And of course we need an end to the paternalistic idiotic live-in rule.

  • Romz Sobreviga Jr.

    This person named John is imbecile. I dont think its wise to keep the identity of someone who stole someone elses future by maltreating him or her. If these criminals get attacked by mob, its just right for them. They deserve the hate and they must be punished but I doubt coz Hongkong’s justice system is and has always been futile to foreign victims. It only works on their citizen’s advantage. Crap!

  • filipina maid.

    .her boss must be uneducated,have mental /personality disorder.

    this is horrible.

    god forbid. BUT IF THAT HAPPENS TO ME JUST ONCE ,SHE will HAVE A LESSON ON HER LIFE .

    she was beaten EVERYDAY FOR 8 MONTHS. MY GOD.

    WHY IN HELL SHE LET HER IDIOT BOSS DO THAT TO HER?
    AND WHY, SHE DID NOT FILE A CASE?REPORT IT TO THE POLICE.?
    and WHY HER EMBASSY DID NOT PURSUE TO GET HER EMPLOYErs and AGENCY in regard to what had happened to her?
    why HER FRIENDS/ fellow Helpers did not help her?
    god,just horrible.

    thankful my rich chinese boss are so good, very simple and humble .work is fine.and in my 5 years, whenever i make mistake i have not even experience, even once, any sort of reprimand from them.

  • filipina maid.

    when someone’s employer has mental/personality disorder , helpers must expect the worst.

    my fellow filipina helper in our building whom was working with Korean family , also got same problem, inhumane treatment.for 3 months.she give her boss a termination letter 4x.but refuses to accept it. just last week , her madam goes nuts, told the helper to step down in thier house IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.12 am exactly in her pajamas.well, good thing is that , they are the one who pays the 1 month notice+airticket+food+travel allowance to her. and she was able to sleep over in my tiny room (with my boss consent of course) whilewaiting for her flight ( last sunday).
    and glad, that Phil. Embassy here in hk is really dependable in assisting us. her employer was already banned from hiring another filipina maid.
    in my part, if i were going to live withthat kind of employer its better to go back in phils.
    there ,no matter how meager our living was, we can still get good night rest.+a loving family.
    no pressure, no tension , no fatigue..

  • Maj Gen Luo Yuan

    As a han chinese, I will help the Indonesian government to round up hongkong tourists and haul them into a tourist bus and let the locals in Jakarta have them as their target practice.

  • Maj Gen Luo Yuan

    As a han chinese, I will help the Indonesian government to round up
    hongkong tourists and haul them into a tourist bus and let the locals in
    Jakarta have them as their target practice..

  • dsdsa

    Just ban all foreign maid.

  • Santi Jane

    Just leave the HK city, delete is from list of prospective domestic work,, let the HK people stinks on their garbage …

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