Rest in peace, Elis Kurniasih, domestic worker in Hong Kong died after crush by concrete block at balcony of agency
According to news reports in Hong Kong, Elis had worked in Hong Kong for three years. She was staying at a boarding house run by Sunlight Employment Agency while waiting for her next employment contract to start. When she was crushed by the concrete block, she and another domestic worker were sleeping on mattresses on the balcony of a boarding house run by Sunlight Agency. She was 33 when she passed away. She was a mother of two back in Indonesia.
Migrant groups pointed out that employment agencies usually forced workers to stay in their boarding houses so that domestic workers would not change agencies. Many Indonesian migrant domestic workers also said that these agencies' boarding houses were in bad and inhumane condition. They are crowded, restrictive of movement and in bad condition. What was more, employment agencies often confiscate workers' identity documents. They overcharge workers excessive agency fees. Yet, both Hong Kong and Indonesian governments turn blind eyes to the situation.
Here, K, an Indonesian migrant domestic worker, expressed what she felt after learning news of Elis who passed away (edited):
shared by Grass Media Action:
Question: Can you tell me what do you feel now?
K: It is very hard and sad to me. All friends they are crying now. Elis is a good friend. But why the God pick up her away very faster?? I’m angry with my government. They never think about conditions of migrant workers here. Agency ,KJRI is bad!! They are like monster. Our domestic workers here are sold like commodity. We promise we will continue to struggle. We will Fight until we will win!! We will complain to KJRI to blacklist Sunlight Agency. And give compensation to Elis.
Question: What would you say to Sunlight Agency?
K: I want to tell them: We are worker, we are not slave !! Don’t sell my friends! Don’t take their money! Don’t keep their documents. Be Blacklisted and close now!!!
Question: What would you say to hong kong government and indonesian government?
K: I want to say KJRI MO KWAI YUNG ( Consulate General of Indonesia is useless). Justice for Elis!
Question: What would you say to Hong Kong people?
I want to say, Caring of domestic workers here, because they are also human not animal. They(Hong Kong people) need to take care of them too.
Statement from JBMI, the network of Indonesian migrants Hong Kong and Macau:
Passed away today March 16, 2015 approximately at 6:18 PM at the hospital youth Nethersole hospital Chai Wan, friends and our friends Elis Kurniasih.
We are a large family of Hong Kong and Macau JBMI express its deepest condolences and hopefully late getting the best place beside Allah SWT. Hopefully the family left behind is always steadfast and be patience.
JBMI will continue to be committed to fighting the struggle for Elis. This is not because of a natural disaster but human activity.
For victims Sunlight agents do not be afraid to speak out on the unfair treatment that was done Sunlight agent.
For BMI passport and employment contract detained please report it to us and let us take together.
For those who still pay cuts BMI agent, do not GET PAID.
Let’s Consulate General in Hong Kong simultaneously demand for daring expressly revoke permission sunlight, return all the money that has been taken by the agent sunlight.
Consulate should repeal laws that prohibit BMI change agents and revoke rules banning independent contract.
We urged the government to speed up the investigation and provide penalties for parties related to the tragedy -pihak elis on offense and provide compensation for elis and family.
JBMI Hong Kong and Macau
JBMI, the network, had been organizing protests and actions in front of Sunlight Employment Agency.
South China Morning Post
Story Type: News