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Domestic helper allegedly died by suicide in Bukit Batok – Singapore News

SCDF personnel were filmed trying to cut the rope

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SINGAPORE: A graphic video circulating on Monday (Sep 25) showed Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel bringing down the body of a domestic helper who had allegedly died by suicide.

According to netizens who shared the video online, the incident occurred on the morning of Sept 25, when a maid allegedly died by suicide hanging from Block 104 of Bukit Batok. The unit was on the 3rd floor, and the rope was tied to the clothes drying rack.

SCDF personnel were filmed trying to cut the rope. Netizens who commented on the video circulating online sent their condolences to the family of the domestic helper.

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According to Human Rights Watch, between 1999 and 2005, at least 147 migrant domestic workers died from workplace accidents or suicide, most by jumping or falling from residential buildings. Of these, 122 Indonesian domestic workers jumped or fell to their deaths.

“One Sri Lankan domestic worker jumped to her death in September 2005. Information provided by the Philippines embassy did not specify whether any deaths of Filipina domestic workers were due to falling from a height, but noted that between 2001 and 2005, fifteen Filipina domestic workers died from workplace accidents and nine from suicide.

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Although there are no directly comparable statistics, the Indonesian consulate in Hong Kong reported that thirty-two domestic workers died in Hong Kong between 2003 and June 2005 for reasons including illness, accidents, and suicides. Of these, they classified seventeen as suicides.107 In the same period, forty-three Indonesian domestic workers in Singapore died by falling from buildings. These differences are particularly striking given Singapore employs approximately 60,000 Indonesian domestic workers while Hong Kong employs more than 90,000 Indonesian domestic workers.

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Human Rights Watch interviewed a domestic worker who had attempted suicide after suffering poor working conditions and feeling she had no alternatives for escape”, the Human Rights Watch said.

Interviews with government officials, embassy officials, aid organizations, domestic workers, and employment agents suggest that causes of these falls likely include suicide and hazardous workplace conditions. Isolation at the workplace, excessive work demands, employer abuse, and financial pressures are all factors that may contribute to anxiety and depression.

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