Sneak Preview: Our Homes, Our Stories

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we call upon the Singapore government to strengthen social support systems and access to remedies for women and girls who are survivors of violence. Migrant domestic workers are often the most at risk of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Their vulnerability is heightened because of their isolation in employers’ homes, dependency on them for survival, and limited abilities to communicate in English. Normalised employer practices in Singapore such as the denial of rest days and restrictions on mobile phone use exacerbate this vulnerability.

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Stephanie Chok
Empower Survivors of Violence to Speak Up, Seek Help and Make Informed Choices

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we call upon the Singapore government to strengthen social support systems and access to remedies for women and girls who are survivors of violence. Migrant domestic workers are often the most at risk of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Their vulnerability is heightened because of their isolation in employers’ homes, dependency on them for survival, and limited abilities to communicate in English. Normalised employer practices in Singapore such as the denial of rest days and restrictions on mobile phone use exacerbate this vulnerability.

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Stephanie Chok
High Court Victory Sets Precedent for Migrant Workers’ Rights

Imagine paying thousands of dollars to land a job with a faraway employer you’ve never met or signed a contract with.  That’s an unavoidable reality for many low wage migrant workers.  Often, prior to arrival, the only assurance they have about the employer, job type and salary is their In-Principle Approval letter (IPA).  The IPA is issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) based on the employer’s application.  It serves as the worker’s entry visa.

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Stephanie Chok
A Worker, Not a Slave: Domestic Workers Still Denied Weekly Rest Days

Sally, a migrant domestic worker (MDW) from the Philippines, accepted a contract without any rest days because her agent told her that if she rejected the offer she might not get another one. Sally stayed with her employer for almost two years, working from 5:30am to 10pm every day. She wasn’t allowed to rest during the day, and only allowed to go outside to buy groceries. Eventually, the situation got too much for her to bear and, at her neighbour’s suggestion, she found her way to HOME.

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Stephanie Chok
UN Women's Rights Committee Gives Recommendations to Singapore

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women released its comments and recommendations to the Singapore government in a report which was published yesterday. The Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was ratified by Singapore in 1995. The government is obliged to consider the committee’s comments and recommendations for its domestic policies and legislation to ensure substantive equality for women.

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Stephanie Chok