A domestic worker in Hong Kong was routinely assaulted, kicked and denied rest days at the hands of her employer before fleeing and reporting the abuse to police, a migrant workers’ rights group said Friday.
In an online press conference, spokesperson for the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, showed pictures of injuries on Eden, who had been working with her employer for 14 months.
“Her whole body bore signs of prolonged abuse,” Balladares-Pelaez said as she flashed pictures of deep bruises and cuts on Eden’s legs, abdomen and back.
Originally from the Philippines, Eden came to work as a domestic worker in Hong Kong for the first time over a year ago. Her employer, who is a secondary school teacher, struck Eden whenever her child would not stop crying or did not finish his food.
Citing COVID-19, her employer also banned Eden from leaving the house on her off days, giving her just two hours of break time during which she was allowed to rest.
Balladares-Pelaez said Eden fled her employer’s home on May 30 and reported her to police. Her employer was interrogated by police for a few hours but was released after that.
Coconuts has reached out to police for comment.
Eden is currently staying in a shelter provided by the Filipino consulate.
Eden’s abuse brings echoes of the horrifying 2014 case involving Indonesian helper Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, who was starved and beaten unconscious by her sadistic employer. Her plight sparked outrage and prompted a movement demanding an improvement of working conditions for the city’s vulnerable domestic helpers.
In the press conference, Balladares-Pelaez called on the Hong Kong government to support an impartial investigation and trial of the case, and for Eden’s visa to be renewed so she can stay in the city until she locates new employment.
This article, Filipino domestic worker assaulted with frying pan, denied rest by abusive employer, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.