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The Plight of Burmese Maids in Thailand

  • Aye Mar

The 17-year-old Burmese-Karen girl working as a maid at an apartment in Huai Khwang district has filed a complaint with Thai police, accusing her Thai employer of severely beating her, resulting in a fractured skull, a broken back and shattered ribs.

Her employer Ubonrat Orawongsu, 32, hit her on the head and back with a heavy metal object because she was crying over being homesick. After she was injured and unconscious Ms. Ubonrat gave a taxi driver Bt20,000 to drive her to Siriraj Hospital.

She remained hospitalized for almost two months, undergoing repeated operations for her shattered ribcage and severe head injuries.

The maid’s case came to the attention of the organization called the Coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation (FACE), which has taken her under its wings.

Prior to her beating, she had been in employment for four months with Ubonrat, but had not received any of her agreed monthly salary of Bt4,000.

Metropolitan Police Division 4 Commander Maj Gen Wittaya Kosiyasathit said police arrested Ubonrat Wednesday on charges of physical assault as well as sheltering and employing an illegal immigrant. Ubonrat has denied all the charges and posted a bail of Bt200,000.

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