Isolated and lacking labor rights, housemaids toil in silence

Khin Htar Kyu was in her late teens when she left her village in Irrawaddy Division’s Wakema Township with her younger sister to find work in Yangon to help her indebted family. Across Myanmar, there are tens of thousands of girls like Khin Htar Kyu who leave their poor families to become domestic workers for wealthier households. Naw Aye Aye Hlaing, program manager with Yangon-based NGO Women Can Do It, said workers usually don’t complain about their situations because they are isolated in their employers’ homes and lack the support to report abuses. “Myanmar has no special support group to help housemaids as they are seen as unimportant workers,” she said, adding that more must be done to ensure proper treatment of workers.

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