A 33-year-old Indonesian domestic worker is in a critical condition after being crushed by a falling 60kg concrete block.
Elis Kurniasih, employed by Sun Light Employment Agency, was in a boarding house provided by the agency. A concrete base of an air conditioner fell on her as she prayed at 5am in the morning. The incident resulted in massive bleeding a broken spine, according to a Mission For Migrant Workers spokesperson, who added that conditions at the boarding house were said to be “terrible”.
Update from NGO Mission for Migrant Workers alleges grim conditions at the Sunlight Agency 'boarding house' pic.twitter.com/LNZ3SAjRgu
— HK Helpers Campaign (@hkhelpers) March 12, 2015
“Indonesian domestic workers there are said to sleep on the floor with mats and no proper bed. Cooking is done at the rooftop of the said old building. Although there is a lift, they are allegedly made to take the stairs since only tenants and staff are allowed to use the lift.” Mission for Migrant Workers said.
Ellis had returned to Hong Kong to await placement with a new employer. Previously, she had been involved in the Erwiana campaign for justice.
The Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body said that the incident “must be fully investigated… accountability and liability must be established.” The NGO added that the case was not isolated and is “just one more reason to fully look into the living and also working condition of FDWs [Foreign Domestic Workers]”.
The Coordinating Body also called for the live-in rule to be scrapped.
HK Helpers Campaign legal advisor Rob Tibbo said that the incident exposes the lack of state protection for domestic workers.
Last year, a Filipino domestic helper died when a cabinet fell on her as she slept.