Hong Kong: Petition to India Gov Hold Khobragade Responsible
HONG KONG -
Khobragade’s Arrest: Hold diplomats accountable. Justice for domestic workers
December 20, 2013
We express strong outrage at the Indian government’s reaction to the case of visa fraud and exploitation of her domestic worker against Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade in the United States. In its dealing of the case, the Indian government is only seeking to protect the dignity and honour of Ms. Khobragade, and has shown a complete lack of respect for the underlying issue – that of the abuse and exploitation of a domestic worker by a senior official.
What Ms. Khobragade has done is not an uncommon practice among diplomats and government officials. It is difficult to expose such crimes as domestic workers, in their vulnerable and terrified state, are often unable to bring such employers to justice.
While we condemn the alleged strip search and cavity search that Ms. Khobragade was subjected to, it is our belief that the outrage over her arrest and mis-treatment by officials cannot camouflage the deeper questions raised by the case. In only speaking up for the deputy consular general, the Indian government has belittled a grave and serious concern of labour rights violation, by turning it into a foreign policy issue.
We believe India, and countries around the world, need to be equally outraged for the plight of the exploited domestic worker, who is also an Indian citizen. Globally, governments have often turned a blind eye to similar cases and we support the United States government in investigating and pursuing this case.
Media reports have been focusing more on interviewing Indian diplomats and officers but have not engaged with the domestic workers organisations in India. We call for the support of the public and media to support the justice of the domestic worker. Join us to advocate for the prosecution of Ms. Khobragade through a fair trial, and for the Indian government to publicly recognise that the rights of the domestic worker in question have been violated and compensate her and her family in India.
We also call upon other countries to show support for the rights of migrant domestic workers by passing national legislation that protects the rights of domestic workers, by ratifying the ILO Convention 189, and by sending a message of support to the US State Department for investigating this mistreatment.
We demand to hold diplomats accountable. Justice for domestic workers:
1) Prosecution of Ms. Khobragade
2) Indian government to publicly recognise that the rights of the domestic worker in question have been violated and compensate her and her family in India
3) Enact a Comprehensive Legislation as per pending bills in Parliament for protection of domestic workers in India
4) Ratify the ILO Convention 189, Domestic Workers Convention 2011
Fish Ip, Asia Coordinator
International Domestic Workers Federation
International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF)
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Union (FADWU)
Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU)
League of Indonesian Migrant Workers
United Filipinos in Hong Kong. (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE)
Filipino Migrant Workers Union (FMWU)
Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB)
Overseas Nepalese Workers Union (ONWU)
Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong (ATKI-HK)
United Indonesians Against Overcharging (PILAR)
Far East Overseas Nepalese Association (FEONA)
Hong Kong Women Workers' Association
Coalition of Migrants’ Rights (CMR)
Overseas Domestic Workers Union (ODWU),
Thai Migrant Workers Union,
Thai Women Association,
Komunitas Migrant Indonesia (KOMI-HK)
Filipino Community Services and Information Network (FILCOMSIN)
Progressive Labour Union of Domestic Workers in Hong Kong (PLU)
Migrant Workers Task Force – Indonesia Diaspora Network
The Association for the Advancement of Feminism
- Today’s action photos can be downloaded from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50764246@N06
- The groups handed in a petition letter to the India Consulate General in Hong Kong. The letter is addressed to the Prime Minister of India.
Story Type: News