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Protect Migrant Domestic Workers

Categories: Articles:Human Rights | Published: 05/09/2014 | Views: 1276
The UK government should address, not dismiss, evidence that employers have abused migrant domestic workers in the UK, Human Rights Watch and the UK charity Kalayaan have said. A draft law before parliament is aimed at combating forced labor and other criminal offences but does not address a visa system that contributes to the abuse of migrant domestic workers by their employers.  Human Rights Watch, 04/09/14

In a fact-sheet published on August 29 in relation to the Modern Slavery Bill, the UK government claimed that reports by Kalayaan, which provides support services to migrant domestic workers, and Human Rights Watch showing abuse of migrant domestic workers by their employers related to only a small number of cases.

“Our research uncovered serious abuses, including forced labor, of migrant domestic workers living here in London,” said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The UK government should be doing everything it can to help these workers escape this abuse and hold those responsible to account, instead of dismissing the evidence as anecdotal.”

The government defended the “tied visa” system, under which migrant domestic workers entering the UK with an employer lose their immigration status if they leave that employer. The government removed the right of migrant domestic workers to change employers in April 2012 as part of a broader effort to limit immigration to the UK.  Read more

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