• Sunday, Apr 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:58 pm

A failure to protect

  • Published at 06:20 pm November 8th, 2017
A failure to protect
Since 2013, more than a 100 domestic workers were killed, raped, tortured, or died in unclear circumstances. And all of them were children. What kind of a society allows its most vulnerable members to perish in such a manner? It is bad enough that the concept of domestic help, which forces children to work unacceptable hours in horrendous conditions, continues to flourish under our very noses. What is worse is the fate that they sometimes meet: One of brutality and cruelty, where they are treated as sub-humans. And this does not happen only to children. If we are to call ourselves a civilised society, we cannot continue to perpetuate this culture of abuse. The problem goes beyond a simple failure to protect the rights of certain citizens -- it speaks of a malaise in society that makes people think it is OK to treat those less fortunate as less than human. And the abuse goes on despite the fact that there are indeed laws in place which are meant to protect them. But, of course, there is no enforcement. The reason for this is clear. Desperate for money, it is all too common for cases to be settled outside of court, which allow perpetrators to get away. This pattern of violence and subsequent impunity needs to change. The authorities must protect domestic workers not just from overwork and intolerable conditions, but also support them when they are trapped in situations of repeated abuse. Our justice system needs to send a strong message that crimes against domestic workers will not be tolerated, and will meet the harshest letter of the law.
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