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Employers imprisoned by Supreme Court on torturing and brutal killing of Burmese domestic worker Ministry of Labour urged to enforce regulations to protect the rights of domestic workers regardless of their nationalities PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 November 2012 19:41

On 8 November 2012, the Provincial Court of Uthaithani read a verdict by the Supreme Court in the case filed by Uthaithani public prosecutors against  Captain Suchart Akkhawiboon, first defendant, and Mrs. Yuwadee Akkhawiboon, second defendant (Black Case no. 1089/2547) for violation of Penal Code, the 1979 Immigration Act and 1978 Employment of Aliens Act. Both were accused of “torturing and brutally murdering another person, depriving another person of liberty, providing living space and hiding aliens, or helping aliens without work permits to avoid the arrest.” The first defendant was found guilty for “committing murder against another person, providing living space and hiding aliens and depriving another person of liberty and sentenced to 17 years and four months of imprisonment, while the second defendant was sentenced to four years of imprisonment and was acquitted on allowing aliens without work permits to work. The pickup truck is seized as evidence of the case.

The incidence took place in July 2002. Miss Mazu, 18 years, a Burmese national, came from Mae Sot District to look for work as a domestic worker. After paying fees to an agent, she was placed with a furniture shop in Lopburi owned by the first and second defendants. After working for three months, she was accused by her employers of stealing things in the house. Miss Mazu denied the allegation, and that has made the employers angry and they started to beat her up. Then, they soaked her with kerosene and set fire on her causing her severe injuries. Then, Miss Mazu was confined to her room and denied treatment and food for three more days and was also beaten up again. The employers supposed Miss Mazu was already dead, so they took her body on a pickup truck and dumped her by roadside. She was found by someone who helped to get her to receive treatment from the Provincial Hospital of Uthaithani. She died later after getting the treatment there for nine days. The case drew outcries from public and organizations working to assist and protect the rights of migrant workers as there have been no specific laws to protect the rights of domestic workers. This has made the workers vulnerable to abuse by the employers, particularly migrant domestic workers who have no work permits.

The Human Rights for Development Foundation (HRDF) works to promote human rights, democracy and peace in Thailand. We commend those in the justice process who bring the perpetrators in this case to justice. The plaint and the verdict clearly attest to the brutal treatment that has caused the victim’s death. At present, there are more than two millions migrant workers in Thailand and more than 200,000 of them are domestic workers. Many have been subjected to abuse and exploitation by their employers, and forced to work in unhealthy and unsafe environment causing them injuries and illnesses from work and some have even been subjected to sexual exploitation.

Therefore, HRDF urges that the Ministry of Labour ensure strict enforcement of the laws to protect domestic workers regardless if they are legally registered here or not.  There are seven specific regulations concerning weekly holidays, traditional holidays, annual leave, sick leave, employment of child workers younger than 18 years and payment on annual leave days, etc.

 


 

For more information, please contact Human Rights for Development Foundation (HRDF) 02-277 6882

 
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