Migrant Risks

Dec 19, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry has warned housemaids seeking employment in Singapore to be wary of abuse and to use official channels when securing employment. It said in a statement its mission in Singapore has got several complaints from Sri Lankan housemaids employed in Singapore relating mainly to the payment of wages and working conditions as well as being forced into ‘illicit activities’.

Housemaids account for about 15,000 out of the total expatriate Sri Lankan population of about 23,000 in Singapore.

Many housemaids have neither been registered with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) nor secured employment in Singapore through SLBFE licensed employment agencies, the ministry said.

“Many of these housemaids face problems with their employers, since they have not been adequately briefed by the employment agencies on their duties, emoluments and prevailing rules and regulations in Singapore, governing domestic workers.”

But it said that as a large number of the housemaids report to the Sri Lankan High Commission without any details of their employers or employment agencies, the mission finds it difficult to help them.

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