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Behind Closed Doors - FOUR CORNERS 12/02/18

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Behind Closed Doors: The domestic workers treated like slaves in Australia.

“It looked beautiful from the outside, but what was happening to me inside was a very bad situation.”  Escaped worker

They are the hidden workforce kept behind closed doors. Domestic workers, in Australia, living in slave like conditions and made to work around the clock.

“It’s incredible to think that in the heart of Australia, that these sort of 19th century practices are taking place.”  Lawyer

Their employers stand accused of using their wealth, power and privilege to exploit these workers.

“She couldn’t risk falling asleep, yet she was so tired from being up since 5 o’clock in the morning.”   Husband

“He did everything for them, he was their house servant. He washed and cooked and cleaned. He did the gardening. …He was there, basically, as a man-servant.” Lawyer

Alone and often without any money, these domestic workers say they found themselves trapped.

“I was like a prisoner. I was like in a prison cell, like in a box or in a room. All you see is the four corners of it every day. I cannot even open a window.”   Escaped worker

Their only way out is to escape.

“In the dead of night…I drove the car in, I loaded it up, and got her out of there.”   Husband

This powerful Four Corners reveals disturbing cases of extreme overwork and underpayment and explains why those responsible are getting away with it.

“This is not a one-off case and it’s not some sort of fantastic story. It’s happening now… in Australia.”   Lawyer

 

Behind Closed Doors, reported by Louise Milligan and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th February at 8.30pm.It is replayed on Tuesday 13th February at 1.00pm and Wednesday 14th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEDT, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.