Yet another foreign worker alleges abuse

YANGON: An 18-year-old girl, who has returned home after a brief stint as a maid in Malaysia, claims she was not paid and was beaten up by her employer.

Ma San Thida, who had entered Malaysia illegally two months earlier, went to the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur on August 28 to complain, according to a report in the Myanmar Times.

She told embassy officials that she had suffered at the hands of her employer.

“I also witnessed many other girls in a similar situation,” Ma San Thida said in a statement released by the embassy, according to the Myanmar Times.

The report did not give other details – such as where she had worked and whether a report had been lodged against her employer.

The embassy donated K150,000 (USD125) to Ma San Thida and granted her the Certificate of Identity she needed in order to return to Myanmar. The documentation fees were paid for by donors, according to the report.

The newspaper said Myanmar’s overseas embassies in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan were attempting to make a list of undocumented maids with the help of the host countries.

“There were many cases of abuse among maids who went abroad for work and that is why the government stopped sending domestic workers overseas in 2014,” the report quoted Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation migrant affairs official Ko Myo Win Yin as saying.

However, according to the report, the ban has failed to stop women from Myanmar going abroad to work. More importantly, it has led to a black market that puts the women at greater risk of exploitation.

There were 130 official cases of human trafficking in Myanmar last year, with a total of 641 victims.