Respect maids' privacy

I read with revulsion that there are employers who install closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems in the rooms of their foreign domestic workers and even in the toilets ("Do 'maid cameras' cross the line?"; Nov 1).

This action by such employers is clearly unacceptable and it infringes on the privacy, and possibly the modesty, of their foreign domestic workers.

The room occupied by a maid is her private area; so, too, are the toilets. No employer should ever have or feel the right to install CCTV cameras in these areas just because they pay the wages of their foreign domestic workers.

If these employers were put in the shoes of their maids, they, too, would be repulsed by the fact that CCTV cameras are installed in their own rooms and toilets. If the employers feel disgusted and violated that their privacy has been infringed by the CCTV cameras, would it be fair to subject their maids to the same kind of treatment?

While I fully understand that some employers do want to install CCTV cameras in their homes to ensure that their foreign domestic workers do their jobs properly and do not ill-treat their young or their elderly family members, a line has to be drawn.

CCTV cameras should be installed only in non-private areas, such as the living room, kitchen and/or courtyard.

Foreign domestic workers should also be informed that there are CCTV cameras installed and that their activities are being monitored.

I urge the authorities to consider making it illegal for employers to install CCTV cameras in the bedrooms and toilets that foreign domestic workers use.

If we want our society to be an inclusive one, we need to be able to show respect and protect the dignity of our domestic workers before we can demand the same kind of respect from others.

Han Ming Guang