Trafficking and Abuse

Read statements from real domestic workers about the abuse they regularly face from executives in the private equity ecosystem. For a broad understanding of the issue, see the materials below. 

“Competition between agents means they don’t charge employers much. Instead, passing the buck to maids. For 6-8 months, the poor maid does not get a salary [due to her debt payments to the agency]”

Human Rights Watch – Maid to Order: Singapore

“Amnesty found that most Indonesian maids had to hand over the vast majority of their salary to their agency during the initial seven months of their contract. An amount that substantially exceeds the statutory limits.”

Amnesty International – Exploited For Profit, Failed by Governments

“Although Philippine agencies are prohibited from charging a placement fee, we found 84% of domestic workers did pay an agency fee, which averaged US$1,135.”

Rights Exposure – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

“The economic power of employers gives them a sense of entitlement to enact abuse without fear of repercussions. Abusers come from a wide range of ethnic groups, social classes and levels of education.” 

International Labor Organization – Hong Kong’s Hidden Shame

“An average worker spends four months of a two-year contract paying back initial debts, and 63% face exploitative practices while working abroad.”  

FARSIGHT/SEEFAR – Modern Slavery in East Asia (funded by Macquarie Group Foundation)

“66.3% of surveyed domestic workers in Hong Kong experienced strong signs of exploitation and 17% are in situations of forced labour.”

Justice Centre Hong Kong – Coming Clean

“In Singapore, foreign domestic workers have to wait an average of four-and-a-half years before having access to a regular off day. Days off are seen as a benefit rather than as a right.”

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) – Maid to Last

“In Singapore, bosses are put on a pedestal and can do whatever they want. Speaking up or challenging their views is frowned upon. Expecting him to have civil and respectful behaviour is sometimes even perceived as having a ‘sense of entitlement.’” 

Jeraldine Phneah – Why so Much Maid Abuse in Singapore

Carvalho, Raquel. Domestic workers are the slaves of modern Asia. Are Hongkongers, Singaporeans and Malaysians ever going to change? | South China Morning Post, 24 Mar 2019
Hamlett, Tim. A helper, a servant, or a slave? If only Hongkongers could see the way we treat domestic workers as others do | Hong Kong Free Press, 15 Oct 2017
Simon Mortlock, Business Insider, October 7, 2015
Rodis, Rodel. Maid in Hong Kong, made for discrimination |, 3 Apr 2013
Fraser, Niall. Spare me the crocodile tears, Hong Kong’s treatment of domestic workers is modern slavery | South China Morning Post, 20 Dec 2017
Yeoh, Grace. In Singapore, Modern Slavery Happens Every Day. And We are All Responsible. | Rice, 15 Apr 2019
Hampshire, Angharad. Hong Kong domestic helpers' dreams dashed by debt | South China Morning Post, 19 Jun 2016
Adam Chao eFinancial Careers Sept 15, 2022
Hampshire, Angharad. Hong Kong domestic helpers' dreams dashed by debt | South China Morning Post, 19 Jun 2016

Domestic Workers Justice Initiative: Working with institutional investors to keep their supply chains trafficking free.


© Domestic Workers Justice Initiative

This is a staging enviroment