(This article was updated on 14/07/2020)
According to statistics released in 2017, the UK was home to a number of illegal immigrants working as domestic workers who were being abused. These migrants supposedly enter the UK on “Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa”, the validity of which is 6 months, and are forced to stay in the country and work below the minimum wage.
The abuse is not just financial in nature but also sexual.
“To protect myself, I have done such things as going into the kitchen to arm myself with the knives and hiding them, sometimes in my underwear.” expresses a domestic worker who was in news recently.
She claims that there are many other domestic workers like her, who are subject to the exploitation and abuse of their employers and are scared for their lives.
The Modern Slavery Act of UK does not address the issues arising out of abuse and exploitation of immigrants in the UK.
The Domestic worker in a Private Household visa allows a domestic worker to travel to the UK with his/her employer and stay for a maximum period of 6 months. But in the past few years a pattern of abuse and exploitation against these migrants has been noted.
There are agencies and non-profit organizations that work towards the benefit of these underprivileged migrants who may be deported or arrested anytime if their immigration status is revealed to the authorities.
One such organization, The Voice of Domestic Workers, is raising its voice for the protection of the abused domestic workers. They have also filed a petition in support of such migrants to the government to consider renewing their visas for at least 2 years once their entry clearance visa expires after 6 months.
This right is required for the domestic workers as in many cases they are forced to stay illegally in the UK once their visa expires after 6 months and they become illegal immigrants.
As of 2017, the number of trafficking of migrant domestic workers in the UK has increased by a third than what it was in 2016. [ https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/modern-slavery-uk-sees-rise-in-indian-citizens-as-potential-victims/story-tYnXi0W0nXdGbOmkAMymSI.html ]