March 31, 2014

Hidden Away

Abuses against Migrant Domestic Workers in the UK

Summary
Findings
Obligations
Recommendations
To the UK Government
To the UK Parliament
To the Home Secretary
To the Secretary of State for Justice
To the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
To the Police
To British Embassies
Methodology
I. Background
Migrant Domestic Workers in the UK
Changes to Visa Rules: Removal of the Right to Change Employer
Domestic Workers in Diplomatic Households
A New Bill on Modern Slavery
The Immigration Context in the UK
Holding out against the ILO Domestic Workers Treaty
II. Abuses against Domestic Workers in the UK
Criminal Abuses
Forced Labour
Verbal, Physical, and Psychological Abuse
Confinement and Restricted Contact with Others
Retention and Withholding of Passports
Labour Abuses
Excessive Working Hours
Low or No Salary
III. Obstacles to Protection
Access to the National Referral Mechanism
Reporting Abuses to the Police
Access to the Employment Tribunal or other Legal Remedies
Returning Home
Sarah S.’s case
IV. Insufficient Safeguards before Coming to the UK
V. International Standards on Protecting  Migrant Domestic Workers
Appendix
Acknowledgments