To highlight abuse many foreign domestic workers face in Asia and the Middle East, award-winning photographer Steve McCurry partnered with the UN’s International Labor Organization to document poor treatment sometimes meted out by violent employers, from bruises to burn marks. The resulting exhibit in Hong Kong features photos of women like Susi, an Indonesian maid working in that city who was forced to undergo sleep deprivation and brutal beatings, all while not being paid for her work. Another woman featured was raped and impregnated by her employer in Oman, then placed in jail for 5 months under the charge of seduction. According to Susan Tang of the International Domestic Workers Federation, migrant domestic workers are the most vulnerable type of worker because “they are invisible [and] they are isolated.” Journalist Karen Emmons, who produced the exhibit, made it clear that she wanted to share these stories to make clear to employers that “somebody is watching; we know what’s going on.”
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