Hong Kong housewife jailed for six years for abusing young Indonesian maid

Earlier this month, Law Wan-tung, a 44-year-old mother of two, was found guilty of 18 of 20 charges, including the most serious crime of grievous bodily harm.

The court heard Law regularly beat 23-year-old Erwiana Sulistyaningsih with mop handles, coat hangers and, on at least one occasion, shoved a rod from a vacuum cleaner into her mouth.

The abuse only ended when Law drove her employee to Hong Kong International Airport with a one-way ticket home.

She instructed Erwiana to wear six layers of clothing and a diaper so the abuse wouldn’t be detected. However, other Indonesian women noticed her injuries at the airport and urged her to call police.

Amnesty International says Erwiana’s case should serve as a “wake-up call” for the government to stop the “widespread exploitation” of domestic workers.

“The Hong Kong authorities can no longer bury their heads in the sand and dismiss horrific abuses as isolated incidents,” said Norma Kang Muico, Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific migrant rights researcher.

After the verdict, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung said the government welcomed the judgment, which he said underlined “the importance that the Government and the court attach to protecting the labor rights as well as the well-being of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

“We attach great importance to protecting their well-being, and ensure that their labor rights are fully respected,” Cheung said.