Agency behind Carousell listings of Indonesian domestic helpers gets license suspended

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced yesterday that they’ve suspended the license of SRC Recruitment LLP, the employment agency responsible for putting up Indonesian domestic workers “for sale” on online marketplace Carousell.

MOM had been alerted to the listings on Sept 14, and immediately put an end to the nonsense by telling Carousell to remove the offending posts. A user that went by the handle @maid.recruitment had been putting up profiles of various domestic helpers — complete with their faces exposed — and some of the listings were even indicated as “sold”. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing to the people involved (no matter how willing they are), grotesquely akin to auctioning people off as slaves.

Photo: Carousell screengrab via All Singapore Stuff Facebook page

Investigations revealed that SRC Recruitment LLP was the culprit behind the Carousell listings, and the penalty the employment agency received is that it can no longer find new foreign domestic workers to recruit and emplace.

MOM website screengrab

If SRC Recruitment LLP chooses to continue operating without a license, offenders could be fined up to $80,00 and/or jailed up to two years.

“We strongly condemn the advertising of FDW services in an undignified manner,” said Commissioner for Employment Agencies Kevin Teoh. “Advertising FDWs on an internet platform meant for trading goods is completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Last week, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has reportedly expressed its concerns about the exploitative practice and have requested a thorough investigation of such cases, the Jakarta Post reported. MOM has assured the Indonesian Embassy that investigations are ongoing.

“The Ministry sternly warns (employment agencies) against similar actions that would denigrate the dignity of FDWs working in Singapore.”


Posted by Singapore Ministry of Manpower on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Listing migrant workers like commodities are nothing new in Singapore, where websites such as and exist as “maid search databases”. Netmaid, for one, offers 19,709 domestic worker profiles for interested hirers to peruse through. Just like the Carousell listings, each profile exposes their faces as well as individual characteristics such as their religious background, their age, and their marital status.

“There must be standards and a code of conduct in providing job openings and employment information for migrant domestic workers in accordance with human rights requirements,” said Wahyu Susilo, the executive director of advocacy group Migrant CARE about the Carousell listings.

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