Woman accused of exploiting girls for labor

TN News

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Two teenagers from the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have accused a woman of keeping them in virtual slavery for several months, Dan Tri reported Thursday.


Vo Thi Ngoc and Vo Thi Chung, both 16, said they have been working since May this year at a clothing store, identified as L.T.T., 47, in nearby Quang Nam Province from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day at a promised payment of VND600,000 (more than US$30) a month.


But T. has never paid them. They stayed at the store in the Tam Ky Market the whole day, and received just VND8,000 a day for breakfast and lunch.


On Wednesday, the girls told police they suffered torture and abuse.


After closing the fabric booth at the market, they had to go home and prepare dinner for T.'s family. When there was a lot of work at the booth and they returned late, they would be beaten, Ngoc and Chung said.


On Monday, they came late and T. pulled their hair and slapped Chung's face, they said.


The girls also had to wash clothes for T.'s family and only were allowed to go to sleep after 10 p.m. Sometimes T. woke them up in the middle of the night to bring a bucket to her bed for her to go toilet and then take the dirty bucket away.


Ngoc and Chung said they often had to serve T.'s toilet needs at the cloth store as well.


They intended to run away on Tuesday but they didn't have enough money and hoped that T. would pay them one day, if they stayed.


Other vendors at Tam Ky market helped take the girls to the police station.


"We've seen the girls working hard and being beaten in the middle of the market. They had to carry the heavy cloth like big men," said one of the vendors.


Local police say they are investigating the case further.


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