Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Filipina maid photographs ‘modern slavery’ in Hong Kong | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online

See - Filipina maid photographs ‘modern slavery’ in Hong Kong | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online

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LONDON - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret.
"Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month.
"The abuse happens behind doors. It's common but no one talks about it, so I want to tell their stories, I want to tell people it's not OK to treat your domestic workers that way."
Bacani is one of the 330,000 domestic workers in the former British colony, most of them from the Philippines and Indonesia.
She told how maids are frequently forced to sleep on toilets, kitchen floors, cabinet tops or even baby-changing tables because they are not given beds.
Many work up to 19-hour days. Some are underpaid or not paid at all. Others are denied food or beaten, she said.
"It was a big shock to me when I listened to their stories and they told me they slept on toilets, that their boss slapped them or their boss didn't even feed them," Bacani, a self-taught photographer, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone.
"It shocked me how people could treat other people like that. It's very barbaric. When I talk about it I feel angry."

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