五一遊行:移民家務工 (for eng version pls scroll down)

(轉載自草根 ‧行動 ‧ 媒體 http://grassmediaction.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/201451migrants/)

五一遊行:移民家務工

印尼家務工關注團體,印尼家務工要求取消印尼2004年39號法例聯網(Network of Indonesian Migrant Workers to Scrap Law No 39/2004, JBMI)於五月一日國 際勞 動節進行集會遊行,希望藉是次活動喚起香港社會大眾對移民家務工的關注。她們早上於維園足球場集合,透過唱歌、跳舞、話劇表演等 各種方式向其他印尼姐妹表達她們應享有卻被忽視及剝奪的基本權利。約下午一時,組織聯同其他印尼團體出發遊行到印尼領事館,期間她們高舉「End Slavery」橫額及高呼「We are workers. We are not slaves.」,直呼對印尼及香港政府漠視多項剝削政策,縱容僱主及中介公司無良 對待 的不滿。遊行完結後,ATKI回到維園會合其他本地勞工團體出 發遊行到政府總部。大隊抵達政府總部後,各個團體分別派出代表演說,共同捍衛勞工權利,為在社會上不同長工時勞工,包括印尼家務工,表達訴求。

是次遊行主要對香港及印尼政府表達六大訴求︰

一.團體要求香港政府將印尼家務工的最低工資調高至四千五百元的合理水平,及把移民家務工涵蓋在最低工資保障法例之內。
二.廢除完成合約後只兩星期逗留的規定以及其他針對移民家務工的岐視性簽證措施。
三.廢除移民家務工必須於僱主家中住宿的規定,容許僱傭雙方自行協商「內宿」或「外宿」的安排。
四.訂定所有勞工享有的標準工時,同時包括移民家務工在有關保障之內。
五.對中介公司侵犯移民家務工權利及非法的手段,採取有效的打擊措施。
六.確認國際勞工組織所訂立,為保障家務工生活及勞動條件的基本人權標準的C189號 公約。

這些問題的癥結,源於兩地政府的縱容及政策。由於印尼政府規定出口外勞必須經中介公司找工作,令中介公司可以從中謀取暴利,甚至「食兩家茶禮」。印尼政府規定所有到海外工作的勞工必須購買無理的保險(條例只適用於 印尼境內),壓榨移工。香港政府雖有法例監管,但疏於執行亦進 一步助長剝奪問題惡化。孤立無援的印尼姐妹唯一的出路,難道只有靠自己?

接受訪問的印尼家務工均相信唯有更多的姐妹團結站出來一同發聲,她們才有希望帶來改變,脫離被無理剝削的處境。即使新聞揭露不少姐妹被僱主暴力對待,她們仍然呼籲同伴友善對待僱主,只因她們相信不少僱主都不太差。

對於香港人,印尼姐妹們首要希望他們能夠對於這班為香港經濟默默奉獻的人有更多不同層面的認識。 她們希望從香港人身上得到的是一個建基於人與人之間存在著的平等對待。她們希望這些關注不僅只在印尼家務工,從其他地方移居 香港的家務工亦應得到同樣的尊重。

關 注移民家務工議題的加拿大籍學者認為,移民工被剝削的問題雖不僅只存在於香港,但香港人有責任去了解這些以他們家作為工作地方的幫工。他們相信這些姐妹能夠照顧他們的家庭,所以相對應地給予她們應有的尊重。另一方面,香港政府應該賦予應有的權利,例如作出投訴和表達訴求的權利、住宿安排的選擇等等。同時,印尼政府應該反思國民為何於本國缺少發展機會;對於出外工作的人民,政府應確保他們被尊重,以及有真正的選擇,而不是「被逼」的選擇。

草媒 ATKI 2014
草根媒體行動2014

訪問後感

移民家務工人在港因為國籍、身份、文化差異等各種原因,本來在港生活已需要面對一定程度上的困難,再受到自己國家和前往工作的國家所訂下的各項條例剝削,導致她們心理及生理上都面對著嚴峻的挑戰。身在異鄉,長期受到壓抑的她們只能啞忍著這一切的暴力。在社會上,莫說表達訴求,甚至對自己最基本的權利也模糊不清,更 缺乏勇氣去處理這些由內至外產生的壓抑。遊行及訪問過後,我發現了她們所追求的其實很簡單,和姐妹一起分享、遊行、連結大家 的力量、被香港人尊重及聆聽.已能展開笑顏和感到知足。在物質主義發達的香港社會下,港人擁有很多外在的享受,盲目地追求更 高質素的生活水平。可是,人民的素質卻逐漸下降,失去了對別人的包容、同理心、尊重等,大部分人都著重眼前的東西卻遺忘了人 性的本質。對著移民家務工人,更會採取各種行為的歧視,而姊妹在受到歧視下仍然選擇相信這裏不是每個人也同樣惡劣地對待她 們,我看到了她們的美善。她們漂流海外、與家人分開、走到別人的家庭裏工作、誠懇的服待著,有誰能輕易理解這種情況下的所承 受的辛酸和思念家人的滋味?假若有天你到海外工作時,別人把你當作奴隸般對待而非人性對待,你又有何感受?回到本質,將心比己,撿回自己的冷漠,重新審視這群默默地奉獻的人,思考她們的付出與社會大眾那密不可分的位置,關係。她們也是我們的一分子,沒有她們的付出,繁忙的香港人又怎能埋頭工作而撇下家務事於不顧?

– LamYen

很多「命生得好」的人為了繼續活在美好的想像中,都選擇了忽視身邊不公的事。這些美好的想像或許永遠都不會幻滅,又或者有一天它們還是會瓦解。無 視其實是剝削。正因如此,這班印尼姐妹正在被剝削。但是,團結、堅持和勇氣為她們帶來了簡單卻最真實的快樂。這些快樂,是不會瓦解的。這種力量不僅為她們的群體帶來了支持,有幸見到的局外人都會被感染,被這種力量支持着。這班局外人甚至獲 得分享這種最真實快樂的資格。至於能否得到,就取決於這些人的決定了。

– Emily

fdw1r

 

 

May Day March: Migrant Domestic Workers

Network of Indonesian Migrant Workers to Scrap Law No 39/2004(JBMI), an Indonesian domestic workers concern group, organized gathering and demonstration on International Labor Day to voice out their plight and to arouse public concern. In the morning, they sang, danced and had drama performance to raise the awareness of other Indonesian domestic workers on the rights they deserved, yet ignored and exploited. At noon, ATKI joined with other migrant’s organizations and marched to the Indonesian consulate with banners written “End slavery” and “We are workers. We are not slaves.” They expressed the dissatisfaction towards the ignorance, connivance to agencies and exploitative policies of both Hong Kong and Indonesian governments. After that, ATKI joined other local labor concern groups to march to the Central Government Office. Representatives of different groups, including the migrant workers, gave speech on behalf of different workers of long working hours and other labor concerns, to voice out their demands.

From the migrant workers, there are a total of six demands:

1. Increase the minimum wage of Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW)into HK$4,500 and include the them in the statuory minimum wage protection.
2. Repeal the Two-Week Rule (New Conditions of Stay) and other discriminatory visa policies on MDWs.
3. Make live-out an option and repeal the mandatory live-in employment arrangement.
4. Set the standard working hours for all workers in HK including MDWs.
5. Effectively address abusive and illegal practices of recruitment agencies.
6. Ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 189 on Domestic Workers that set human rights standards for the living and working condition of all domestic workers.

The root problem of the exploitations would be the disregards and policies of the two governments. The Indonesian government requires all labor workers to find jobs through agency companies and therefore, the unscrupulous companies exert every penny from the loopholes. They even get double paid by both employers and Indonesian workers. Also, the government demands every migrant worker to buy unreasonable insurance, of which its clauses only compensate injuries inside Indonesia, in order to exploit workers. In spite of regulations in Hong Kong, the SAR government does not help the situation with their loose enforcement, or to be precise, lacking in enforcement of the laws.

The interviewed Indonesian domestic workers believe the united power of the migrant sisters will bring hope to the exploitative situation they are facing. They have to speak out to protect themselves from the unreasonable and inhumane treatment. Even though recent news has revealed the violent treatment received by their sisters, they still want to deliver the message that “be nice to the employers” to their fellows as they believe there are good employers.

For Hong Kong people, these Indonesian migrant workers, first and foremost, want them to understand more about this anonymous group who also contribute for the prosperous economy of Hong Kong. What they want from the locals is just a fair treatment as human beings. They also emphasized that this treatment should not be just for them, but for all migrant workers regardless of where they came from.

A Canadian observer reckoned that exploitations do not just exist in Hong Kong, locals have responsibilities to understand workers in their workplace. On the other hand, the local government should take the responsibilities to ensure the various rights of the migrants workers, for example, the options of residence, the right to express, the right to complain and the right to be heard. The Indonesian government should, at the same time, reflect herself of the reason for the lacking of opportunities in the homeland. Also, the government should provide real choices, instead of forced choices, to her overseas workers.

gma ATKI 2014
grassroots media action 2014

Afterthoughts

Migrant domestic workers face different level of difficulties because of the difference in nationalities, identities and cultures etc. Being exploited by the policies of their own countries and their working countries, they are challenged, physically and mentally. As they are miles away from home, all they can choose is endurance. In the society, they are uncertain of their basic rights, let alone voicing their demands. They also lacks the courage to deal with the suppression inflicting on them, both internal and external. After the demonstration and interview, I found that what they wanted are actually very simple – to share, march and connect with the others; to be heard and respected by the people of Hong Kong, this is enough to give them laughters and contentment. In the material-rich Hong Kong, peoples have a lot of external luxury already, and yet are still pursuing a higher standard of living blindly. Nevertheless, peoples quality of living is diminishing, like forbearance, empathy and respect. Most of the peoples are so concerned of their short-term gains and forgotten about the basic humanity. What is worse, some may even discriminate the migrant domestic workers in various ways. I saw the true beauty of these sister when they still believe that not everyone would treat them badly even in such discriminating situations. They leave their own families, go into the others’ family and serving heartily. Do we really understand the bitterness and homesickness? Imagine one day when you work abroad, people treat you as slave instead of human, how would you feel? Back to the basics, we should put ourselves into others shoes and wipe our blind eyes, and take a good look at these tolling sisters and all the efforts they have given and rethink on the nondetachable relationship between us. They are part of our community, and without their contribution, how can we busy Hong Kong people leave behind our domestic chores

– LamYen

Many born-with-privilege people choose ignorance in order to continue living in the happy imagination. This happy imagination may not fall apart, or it may someday. Ignorance is exploitation. This is why the migrant workers are exploited. Yet, with the unity, persistence and courage, simple but real happiness in this community will not fall apart. Together, they fight for what they deserved. The perseverance does not only provide support inside the community, but also give support to outsiders to become insiders and enjoy the privilege of having real happiness. They provide another choice of happiness for those living-in-happy-imagination people. But for the type of happiness they want, they have to make their own choice.

– Emily

 

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