- A Filipina domestic helper in Brazil was a victim of modern slavery
- She was subjected by her employers to slave-like working conditions
- Once, the Filipina maid was forced to eat food meant for dog to keep herself from starving
A 40-year-old Filipina who applied for work as domestic helper in Brazil in pursuit of greener pastures and better working conditions was subjected by her employers to slave-like working conditions.
In an interview with BBC, the Filipina domestic helper said her employers who live in an upscale neighborhood in Sao Paulo made her perform a long list of tasks daily that she barely had time to eat.
She said her employers’ apartment has a big living room, a large dining room and four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom that she has to clean every day, aside from being a nanny to three school-aged boys and a baby. She also had to walk the dog.
Her female employer usually stays at home to closely watch everything she did. One time, the employer complained that she did not clean the glass table properly and made her polish it for hours.
As per a BBC story, weeks would pass without the employer giving the Filipina maid a day off. She often had no time left to eat because there was so much to do. Sometimes, the food they gave her was not enough.
She narrated how, one time, she was forced to eat the food meant for the dog just to keep herself from starving.
“I didn’t have any other choice. To survive, I had to take the meat for the dog. I cooked the food for the dog and made sure that when I cooked it, I get half for me,” she said.
She later found the courage to confront her employer and asked about the harsh treatment. The employer replied that she never liked her.
The Filipina maid was rarely left alone in the house, but every time the whole family went out, they would lock the her inside the apartment. But one fateful day, they forgot to lock the door and she decided to escape.
The case of the unnamed Filipina domestic helper is not an isolated one, according to an inspector at Brazil’s Labor Ministry. Brazilian authorities are looking into the situation of 180 other foreign domestic workers who suffered from modern slavery.