PNGTUC calls for laws to protect domestic workers

National, Normal

THE PNG Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) has called for legislations to protect domestic workers against sexual abuse.
PNGTUC general secretary John Paska also called for domestic workers to enjoy benefits and entitlements as ordinary workers.
He said as of next Jan, domestic workers must be paid the same national minimum wage of K200 a fortnight like all other ordinary workers.
“Domestic workers constitute a large group of  the work force and are the workers whose abuse has remained off the radar for far too long.
“Mostly, they constitute women, although there are also a considerable number of men.
“Because no attention has been paid to them, it is difficult to quantify the exact number of workers who can be classified as domestic workers,” Mr Paska said.
He said the abuse of these group of workers was widespread and was being perpetrated by would-be employers.
Mr Paska said that  such abuses included inadequate payment for work done, verbal abuse, sexual abuse and rape and even inhuman treatment towards this group of workers.
Mr Paska said perpetrators include both nationals and expatriates.
He said in the case of nationals, they include  relatives, usually males, and, in the case of expatriates, their favourite target group were young girls and young boys who double as both domestic workers and sexual partners.
“These young boys and girls are usually discard once they are either pregnant in the case of girls or in the case of young boys they are no longer considered youthful.”
Mr Paska said in the case of nationals, many relatives, most often in the relation of in-laws where they bring in young girls from the rural areas under the pretext of offering them jobs or educational opportunities.
“Once they come under their control, the so-called male in-laws sexually abuse them and, in many cases, impregnate them and send them back to the villages.”
Most often, these girls are looked down by their relatives back in the village causing them to hate themselves and eventually spoiling their lives.