No one should work this way ….

Being in IT field, we often complaint that we work over hours and at times we have even felt that no one will work like the way we do… Here is something for everyone of us who have thought so…

A word of warning: If you are a faint-hearted person, please stop here… Don’t go further… If you are reading this line, then I believe you prefer to remain informed at the cost of discomfort…

When Haryatin returned to her village in Indonesia after working in Saudi Arabia as a maid, she was blind. Her employer had hit her with a metal pipe, causing her to lose sight in both eyes. And when Nining, another Indonesian maid, was groped while cleaning windows in Jordan, the shock made her fall several stories to the concrete below. She was confined to a wheelchair.

We keep hearing such reports of abuse on regular basis, that too among the migrant workers. Now, their scars tell their stories in “No One Should Work This Way” . For the last 18 months, Bangkok-based journalist Karen Emmons and photographer Steve McCurry have been working on a documentary project to record and expose some of these abuses faced by migrant domestic workers.

The main idea of the project is to tell the world that few things have to be seen …

Sumasri, possibly in her late 60s, from Indonesia, abused in Malaysia.  “I go to the clinic regularly to get medication. Now it is not painful any more. It was most painful the first four months.”
Sumasri, possibly in her late 60s, from Indonesia, abused in Malaysia.
“I go to the clinic regularly to get medication. Now it is not painful any more. It was most painful the first four months.”

Sumasri’s back and thighs are heavily scarred from the boiling water her male employer in Kuala Lumpur threw on her. No one is sure what happened to her, as every time she recounts the story, it changes.  He neighbors fear that she might not be stable mentally.

Sritak
Sritak, now 31, from Indonesia, abused in Taiwan. “He took a hot fork that he had heated on the stove top and he put it on my hand. He pressed the hot fork onto my hand….It’s quite strange, like he had the devil inside.”

Sritak left her village for her family. She used to work from 6 a.m. to midnight daily. She was restricted from talking to others. Her employer beat her, once with an iron pipe. He accused her of stealing and poured hot water on her body. She has more than 20 scars, including a long slash across her face.

'Beth’, now 20, from rural Philippines, abused in Manila. “My employer would bang my head on the wall and she would throw hot water on me. She would burn my skin with cigarettes. She said this was the punishment for my sins.”
‘Beth’, now 20, from rural Philippines, abused in Manila.
“My employer would bang my head on the wall and she would throw hot water on me. She would burn my skin with cigarettes. She said this was the punishment for my sins.”

Beth was sold by her sister to a couple in Manila when she was 10. 10 years is supposed to be playing out rather than being a servant. She worked from 4 a.m. until late every day, cleaning and looking after their small child. She was NOT PAID. Her female employer beat her frequently, with sticks, pots or pans. The Employer’s boy friend walked out and poor Beth, had to face all the anger the employer had. She began burning Beth with cigarettes. After seven years locked in the house Beth escaped. She had never been to school, watched TV, or listened to music or the radio.

What were we doing at that age? Playing? Studying? Definitely not working.. Not like Beth… What are we gonna do to the thousands of Beth still being out there?

‘Pavitra’, now 34, from Nepal, abused in Oman. “The husband came home and latched the door and attacked me. I told the wife later on. She said, ‘You’re telling lies and it’s not true.’ If my family, especially my husband, finds out, they will abandon me.”
‘Pavitra’, now 34, from Nepal, abused in Oman.
“The husband came home and latched the door and attacked me. I told the wife later on. She said, ‘You’re telling lies and it’s not true.’ If my family, especially my husband, finds out, they will abandon me.”

Nowadays looks like the poor people have to face the consequences of being true… Yes! This has happened to Pavitra. Pavitra spent five months in prison in Oman. Her female employer refused to believe that her husband, a police official, had raped the housemaid, and pressed charges of seduction. Five months later, when Pavitra was released, it was too late to do anything about her pregnancy. She returned to Nepal in secret because she feared her husband and family would abandon her. Now she is in hiding… Imagine, being home and not exactly being with family… 

Indra, now 31, from Nepal, abused in Kuwait. “Everyone has left me. My brothers spit on the ground when they see me….I will try my best to prevent anyone from ever going abroad for domestic work. I can work to stop it. I will do whatever it takes.”
Indra, now 31, from Nepal, abused in Kuwait.
“Everyone has left me. My brothers spit on the ground when they see me….I will try my best to prevent anyone from ever going abroad for domestic work. I can work to stop it. I will do whatever it takes.”

Indra was abandoned by her husband. So she went abroad to pay medical and education bills for their three children. She never went to school and cannot read or write. She was hired to look after 13 children, but her employers’ family also ran a brothel in their building and beat her to make her work there too. She fought and she eventually escaped by climbing down an elevator cable. Injured, she returned to Nepal on a stretcher. Just because of her injuries, she was rejected by her family. Her family, for whom she risked her life. Now its being hard for her to survive..with those injuries…

Haryatin, now 36, from Indonesia, abused in Saudi Arabia. “Once I had said, ‘If you don’t like me, please send me to the office, please send me home.’ She said, ‘How nice, how lucky you are to go home. If I don’t like, I just hit or I kill you.’”
Haryatin, now 36, from Indonesia, abused in Saudi Arabia.
“Once I had said, ‘If you don’t like me, please send me to the office, please send me home.’ She said, ‘How nice, how lucky you are to go home. If I don’t like, I just hit or I kill you.’”

Haryatin needed money to pay for her daughter’s education. She worked for a woman with nine children. This woman is such an evil in my eyes. One day, at 3 a.m. while Haryatin was washing school uniforms, her employer rubbed the baby’s faeces-filled diaper into Harayatin’s face because Haryatin hadn’t been quick enough to change it. Even after this, that evil lady wasn’t satisfied. She hit Haryatin in her head with a pipe, which made her lose her eye sight. She was forced to stay, and keep working, until the swelling disappeared.

Saraswati, now 20, from rural Nepal, abused in Nepal. “She took me to my room and started beating me with her hand. Pulling my hair. With no one at home to stop her, she would beat me a long time….The Government should not allow children to be used as domestic workers.”
Saraswati, now 20, from rural Nepal, abused in Nepal.
“She took me to my room and started beating me with her hand. Pulling my hair. With no one at home to stop her, she would beat me a long time….The Government should not allow children to be used as domestic workers.”

Saraswati became a domestic worker aged 12 because her family could not afford to send her to school. How can they just sell their daughter just for their survival? A shopkeeper helped her escape from an abusive employer, but her next employer, in Kathmandu, was even more abusive. She has scars on her forehead and knee. She still works as a maid but is now finishing her education and helps other domestic workers learn about their rights.

This is supposed to be the 21st century and yet such brutality still goes on in our so called civilized world. I thought slavery was illegal! This has to be changed and what we are about to do to that is a question lies in our hands…

Let’s raise our voice, join hands together and eradicate this barbaric sins against living beings…

These are just few happening.. This is like a drop in sea… There are so many people out there facing abuses every day/ every hour… Not only physical abuses but also verbal abuses which is equally horrible to physical one… Countries should reform the slave system and labor law protection should be in line with international standards as a matter of urgency…

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