Group of Filipina caregivers allege abuse, indifferent bureaucrats
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 8:32PM EST
MONTREAL—A group of eight former live-in caregivers continue to fight for compensation from the Quebec Human Rights Commission, they claim the commission did not handle their case properly and they want the courts to step in.
“What we want is people to be aware of the problems that live-in caregivers face and to be more sensitive and to know that we have to protect vulnerable women such as live-in caregivers,” said lawyer Melissa Arango, who is fighting for the women.
The group had all been recruited from overseas by a nanny agency that was based in Montreal. They allege they had been mistreated by its owner, John Aurora.
Aurora has since passed away, but the group still wants to pursue his estate for damages. But first, they are saying that their initial complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission was mishandled.
“The commission claims that because John Aurora is dead, there's nobody to sue but there is a succession, an estate,” said Arango.
The lawyer for the commission would not comment after the organization dismissed the group's case last July. However, the caregivers won't give up. Monday's procedures in court were to iron out the details of how they might proceed.
“With all the struggles we are going through in this case, sometimes there are times we don't feel like there is really justice somewhere for women like us, marginalized women,” said Evelyn Calugay of the Filipino Rights Group.
Calugay has been working on the case for more than five years; she says she would have liked a resolution by now.
“We need to continue to have hope. We cannot give up as long as we are alive, breathing, strong, we have to keep on going.”
She says they will do whatever it takes to make sure their voices are heard.