Kalayaan, an organisation campaigning for justice of migrant domestic workers, is working to support efforts by Parliament's opposition spokesperson on immigration, David Hanson MP, to amend the Modern Slavery Bill currently being considered in the House of Commons.
Kalayaan has provided Parliament with evidence which suggests that the exploitative abuse of migrant domestic workers has increased since 2012 when Parliament changed the rules on visa for this group, preventing them from changing employers and limiting the period of time they could remain in the UK.
Since the rules changed Kalayaan have found that the migrant workers they are in touch with have reported a doubling of physical abuse by employers. Almost three quarters (71%) of those tied to an employer under the terms of the new rules are saying that they are never allowed out of the house where they lived and worked unsupervised, compared to 43% under the pre-2012 visa.
They also found that 53% worked more than 16 hours a day compared to 32% of those who had the right to change employer under the terms of the old system.
To combat this growth of exploitation Kalayaan and Mr Hanson are recommending a clause which will add the following to the provisions of the Bill.
1) All overseas and domestic workers including those working for staff of diplomatic missions shall be entitled to—
(a) change their employer (but not work sector) while in the United Kingdom;
(b) renew their domestic worker or diplomatic domestic worker visa , each such renewal being forperiods not exceeding twelve months as long as they remain in employment and are able to support themselves without recourse to public funds;
(c) a three month temporary visa permitting them to live in the United Kingdom for the purposes of seeking alternative employment as an overseas domestic worker where there is evidence that the worker has been a victim of modern slavery.
The proposed amendment will be considered by MPs on the Public Bill Committee on 14th October. Kalayaan is asking supporters to write to their MPs to bring the fact that an amendment aiming to achieve this effect will be discussed on this day and asking them to support it.
For further information on how to support this campaign contact Kalayaan - details on the 'contact us' section of their website
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