Friday, 15 April 2011

Jordan: Abused Domestic Workers Stranded

Jordan should immediately allow 24 Sri Lankan former domestic workers, many of whom were allegedly abused by their employers, to return home, Human Rights Watch said today.

The workers have been stranded in Amman since January 2011, unable to pay government-imposed fines and threatened with eviction.

Jordan is in effect punishing these workers for escaping abusive households by piling on daily fines that prevent them from returning to their families. Meanwhile, the employers, who abused the women and, as the law requires, should pay the fines, go unpunished.
Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch

See Human Rights Watch website

Friday, 8 April 2011

Call on governments worldwide to support the Home Alone campaign

 Anti-Slavery International's Home Alone: End Domestic Slavery campaign is gearing up for its most crucial time - the International Labour Conference in Geneva in June - where governments will vote as to whether a new international measure on domestic work will be created or not.

Domestic workers are often seen as home 'help' rather than a legitimate workforce meaning that they are often treated differently to all other workers who enjoy protection under the law, making them more vulnerable to exploitation and slavery. The new domestic work Convention would require countries around the world to change their laws to include domestic workers.

We need to ensure that all governments around the world throw their weight behind the convention. Whilst many have voiced strong support for a Convention, many still do not support a Convention or remain unsure.

Please ACT NOW and write to your Government to urge them to protect domestic workers everywhere.

Read more about Anti-Slavery International's campaign

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Cecilia's experience - finding somewhere to live and work

The advice worker explained that because of my case being particularly complicated due to my visa type she would find me a solicitor. The solicitor explained she would work for me and try and ask the Home Office for me to be allowed to change employers as any other domestic worker who didn’t work for a diplomat would be able to. However she also explained that this would take a long time and the Home Office might say no anyway.

In the meantime I would have to find somewhere to live and a way to support myself without having permission to work for anyone else.  I said I would like to try and make an application to the Home Office even if there was very little chance of success as I knew there was no way I could return to my country until I had some money for all the years I had worked without being paid. My family had borrowed money as I wasn’t able to send money home and there was no way I would be able to pay this back other than earning some money here. 

Surviving in the UK was very hard. No one wanted to employ me without the correct papers. The only people who would employ me would pay me almost nothing because I didn’t have a visa. Many times I would work just for somewhere to sleep and instead of making any money to send home I instead had to borrow money from friends.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Kalayaan has a volunteer internship position available - starting May 2011

Kalayaan is recruiting for a volunteer intern to cover helpline, reception and administrative tasks over the summer period.

The priority for this role will be administration - this is really important.

The ideal candidate will be available for 6 months (a minimum of three month commitment is required) starting in May 2011 for 3-4 days per week. Kalayaan is able to cover public transport expenses within London and limited lunch expenses for volunteers who spend more than 5 hours volunteering a day.

Please go to our website for more information and an application form which needs to be completed and returned by the 18 April 2011in order to apply.