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Revenge Accusations Against Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore

29 November, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) has released a report “I’ve Called the Police: A Study of Criminal Accusations Made Against Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore”. Based on the data collected from 100 individual cases of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) at HOME’s shelter for MDWs who were accused of various crimes between January 2019 to June 2022, this report explores how police accusations can be used by employers as punitive and often retaliatory measures against MDWs. It does so by examining the prevalence of these accusations, the nature of the crimes they’re accused of, and the timing of the accusations, i.e. whether they are made after the MDW arrives at the shelter as well as the outcomes of those cases.

One critical finding is that over 80% of these accusations do not lead to a criminal charge. Theft is overwhelmingly the most common accusation made, with a minority of such cases leading to a criminal charge. In light of these findings, this report critically examines the prevalence of accusations (particularly those that are petty in nature and more likely to be punitive/retaliatory), and their relative and disproportionate impact on MDWs. It also considers the circumstances in which these accusations are made and their impact on the lives and incomes of MDWs.

Jaya Anil Kumar, the Senior Manager for Research and Advocacy at HOME will be joining us to delve into the report’s key issues and also exchange views on the extent this phenomena also occur in other destination countries in Southeast Asia. This virtual event is scheduled for 29 November 2023 at 4 pm and will be conducted via Zoom (access link provided here: https://bit.ly/Event-29NOV2023). Additionally, it will be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of SEA-Junction and the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), as part of the collaborative Wednesday SEA Mobilities Seminar organized jointly by SEA Junction, the IPSR at Mahidol University’s In-House Wednesday Seminar and the Mahidol Migration Center.

Speaker’s Profile

Jaya Anil Kumar is the Research and Advocacy Manager at the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME), an NGO in Singapore that provides services for migrant workers in need, including shelter, legal assistance and training programmes. Prior to this, she oversaw the casework relating to migrant domestic workers at HOME, and provided them advice and guidance on their rights. Through HOME, she has worked with many stakeholders to collectively enhance the protection of low-wage migrant workers through information-sharing and capacity-building initiatives.


For more information, please email: info@seajunction.org or phone/wa: +66970024140


Wednesday SEA Mobilities

This bi-monthly seminar series was launched by SEA Junction in collaboration with IPSR In-House Seminar and Mahidol Migration Centre (MMC) in February 2022. The last Wednesday of every two months the partners organize seminars or panels discussing vast arrays of current Southeast Asia’s mobility issues by experts, academics, practitioners, NGO workers, migrants, and people from the fields.

SEA Junction

SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions, from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information, see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @seajunction

Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University

IPSR was established in 1971 and has become one of Asia’s premier population research and training hubs. The Institute conducts research and provides training in population, sexual and reproductive health and development with a focus on Thailand and on neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for all. For more information, see https://ipsr.mahidol.ac.th.


29 November, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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