2015-03-23
We urge the investigation of Elis’ death and boycott against Sunlight Employment Agency


We are a group of organizations concerned with the treatment of domestic workers in Hong Kong. On the 11th March, Indonesian domestic worker Ms Elis Kurnisaih BT Ahi Komarudi was found dead. She was staying at the accommodation arranged by her employment agency, but was told to rest under an illegal shelter constructed on a roofless podium for the night. A slab of concrete weighing 60 kg fell from the building and hit Elis. She was critically injured and died after six days. We hereby express our sadness and sorrow for this incident.


We must point out that this tragedy is no accident. On the day it happened, Elis had in fact already signed a contract and was ready to work. However, she was arranged to stay at the accommodation of the employment agency in an unacceptably dangerous condition.


The incident revealed that these so called ‘accommodation’ are but ‘human storage’ with no respect for the basic human rights of domestic workers. These accommodations, in which dozens of workers have to squeeze in a room of merely 100 square feet while they wait for employment, should be considered unlicensed hostels. Yet, with no requirement of agencies to provide proper accommodation for foreign workers, they are not penalized nor inspected by the authority on this illegal practice. All these conditions expose the fact that foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are indeed living a life of slavery.


We blame the lack of effective regulation over employment agencies for Elis’ death. Under this government, agencies are allowed to maximum profit by exploiting foreign workers of their basic human rights. To make amend for justice and for Elis’ family, we urge the government to launch an immediate investigation on her death. We also urge for closer monitoring on employment agencies to ensure proper treatment of foreign domestic workers to prevent future tragedies.


We demand the government to:
1. Carry out an immediate investigation on the death of Elis;
2. Implement closer inspection and monitoring of employment agencies; and
3. Legislate for better governance of employment agencies.


We also call for:
1. Employers to work together with foreign domestic workers on non-cooperative actions against Sunlight Employment Agency, and to report any wrong doings by other agencies; and
2. A Hong Kong wide boycott on Sunlight Employment Agency
.


Co-signatories:
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
Labour Party
Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association
Association for the Advancement of Feminism
Left 21
Age of Resistance
autonomous 8a
Committee for Migrant Workers Solidarity, autonomous 8a
Consider the Trouble
Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs
Hong Kong Catholic Institution Staff Association
BA Hong Kong International Cabin Crew Association
Association for the Survivor of Women Abuse (Kwan Fook)
Justice & Peace Commission of the H.K. Catholic Diocese
Construction Site Workers General Union
New Arrival Women League
Open Door
League of Social Democrats
Tak Cheong Lane
Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims
Community Care and Nursing Home Workers General Union
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions Staff Union
Ocean Park Employees' Union
Grassroots Development Centre
工友權益聯社 (Translation: Workers’ Rights’ Association)
Hong Kong Disneyland Cast Members' Union
Social Work Society of HK College of Technology
大專政改關注組 (Translation: Political Reform Concern Group of Tertiary Education Institutes)
Union Of Hong Kong Dockers
Hong Kong School Non-Teaching Staff Union
Hong Kong Buildings Management And Security Workers General Union
Catering And Hotels Industries Employees General Union
Retail, Commerce and Clothing Industries General Union
Hong Kong Domestic Workers General Union
Cleaning Service Industry Workers Union
New World First Bus Company Staff Union
The Chinese University Of Hong Kong Employees General Union
Neighbourhood and Workers Services Centre
Swire Beverages ( Hong Kong) Employees General Union
Tsz Lok Estate Resident Association
Rainbow Action
Sham Shaui Po Community Association
Civil Human Rights Front
Union Of Hong Kong Post Office Employees
Social Work Society of HK Baptist University
Hong Kong Federation of Social Work Students
Government Mod 1 Staff General Union
Social Welfare Organizations Employees Union
Action Q