Protecting Singapore’s vulnerable: Abuse of maids on the rise despite stiff penalties

ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA
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The number of maid abuse cases charged in court has gone up in the last three years, despite a legal provision in place since 1998 that provides for enhanced sentencing against employers who mistreat their domestic helpers.

Foreign domestic workers were the first vulnerable group to be given added legal protections when it was decided that abusive employers could receive 1.5 times the maximum penalties for certain offences, like causing grievous hurt, wrongful confinement and insult of modesty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline Protecting Singapore’s vulnerable: Abuse of maids on the rise despite stiff penalties. Subscribe