Domestic workers subject to abuse in Mizoram

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Aizawl, Jan 14 (UNI) The treatment meted out to domestic workers in Mizoram is nothing less than inhuman, says Mizoram National Domestic Workers Movement Welfare Trust(NDWMWT).

''Domestic workers here are being subjected to all sorts of abuses including sexual,'' he said.

Mizoram unit of NDWMWT observed the Domestic Workers' Day yesterday, which was originally scheduled on January 9, but was not observed on the day, since, ironically, no employee will allow their servants to leave on a weekday.

However, even on a Sunday, the turnup was only a meagre 2-3 per cent of the total number of domestic workers in Aizawl, said Mizoram NDWMWT co-ordinator Sister Rose Paite.

This is a clear indication of oppression of these domestic workers and a violation of their rights in the state, which they themselves are unaware of,'' she lamented.

''Since most of you (domestic workers) are women, you are vulnerable to abuses of different kind. You need to wake up to your rights and sense of dignity. You should not feel ashamed of being domestic workers rather I want you to protect your own interests and dont get oppressed. I want to make sure that you are reasonably paid,'' Sister Rose said while addressing a small gathering of domestic workers.

She further said that the Aizawl office of NDWMWT welcomes domestic workers to share their problems and find ways to amicably sort them out with their employees.

So far, the movement has identified 1832 domestic workers in Aizawl, since 2005 till 2007 where Myanmarese migrants constitute 35.2 per cent. However, this is in great contrast to an earlier survey of Chin League of Women which claimed that there are more than 3,000 Myanmarese girls working as domestic helps in Aizawl alone.

He disclosed that some victims of sexual abuses even refused to reveal their ordeal out of shame and fear of retaliation from their molesters.

NDWMWT provides these domestic workers with support, through home visits, counseling and at times even rescue if need be. So far, the movement had given "job placement" to 20 DWs and vocational training to 15 DWs.

UNI ZS LL/src1021

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