ILLUSTRATION. Australian flag
Source: Kompas.com | Editor: Adi Wikanto
KONTAN.CO.ID – Sydney. Although as a developed country, Australia is still prone to exploitation of human labor. Evidence of the exploitation of foreign students in Australia is increasing.
In Australia, foreign students are subject to exploitation by being paid cheaply and sexually harassed. It is rare among those who bring their cases to court.
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Reported by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) which states that there have been no significant changes in the conditions of foreign students in the world of work in Australia since a similar survey was conducted 4 years ago.
Corona virus outbreaks even worsen exploitation. Professor Laurie Berg of UTS who wrote the survey report said the current potential for exploitation is even greater. “International students are now more desperate to get income, employers may want to reduce costs, and jobs are increasingly scarce,” Professor Berg explained.
Paid 7 Australian dollars per hour
Iris Yao, a Sydney University student from China, has been working while studying to help ease the burden on her parents. “My parents worked hard to pay school fees and my living expenses here,” Iris told ABC’s “7.30 Program”. “I feel I have to do something to ease their burden,” he said.
Iris’s work such as cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes, served in the food ordering section, with a wage of only 7 Australian dollars per hour paid in cash. According to the provisions, this payment is three times lower than the minimum wage that applies to workers over the age of 20 years. “They said if I could work better, it would pay me more. But, I think they were lying,” he said.
According to Professor Berg, Iris’s experience is not uncommon. “Cases like Iris are common in international students, who are underpaid, because that is the work available to them,” he said. “They are also reluctant to question this,” said Prof. Berg.
Student visa provisions in Australia allow foreign students to work up to 20 hours per week. The UNSW and UTS surveys involved 6,000 foreign students from 103 countries with half of the students claiming to be paid less than the minimum wage.
More than 25% said they were paid 12 Australian dollars per hour or less. In addition, students from China experienced the worst conditions, with 54% of them claiming to be underpaid.
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