The Government cuts the Au Pair Center, eliminating au pairs the opportunity to due process. Shameful, says Norwegian People’s Aid and trade union.
– The Government prioritizes tax cuts to the wealthiest, but does not think it is worth spending 3 million to ensure legal certainty for those that look after the rich kids.
It is shameful that the government does not recognize the value of ensuring au pairs in Norway require counseling and follow-up, says Per Nergaard, Acting Secretary General of Norwegian People’s Aid.
The government cuts mean that the Au Pair Center, run by Norwegian People’s Aid and trade union, will have to close.
At all times there are about 3,000 au pairs in Norway who will thus not have any place to turn for help to take up the fight against exploitation and bad treatment from the host families.
Au pairs are not protected by the Working Environment Act and their residency status in Norway is related to the host family. It makes them easy prey for exploitation.
– Our experience is that many au pairs are afraid to contact the police or the UDI and therefore suffer in silence. Au Pair Center is a low threshold.
Part of the reason that au pairs dare to contact us is because we have been doing outreach and informing au pairs about our independence, says the head of Au Pair Center Magnhild Otnesbukta Moussaid.
The number of calls to the center has been growing since its inception in 2012 and is now up to 1300 a year and includes both au pairs and host families.
Most au pairs that the center is in contact with have experienced violations.
– The Au Pair Center helps to smooth out some of the power imbalance between au pairs and the host family.
The fact that the Au Pair Center is being laid down will involve less control over “au pair market.” This makes it much easier for host families to exploit au pairs without any intervention.
This is a cut that effectivelywill remove the au pair the opportunity to rule of law, says Mette Nord, head of the trade union.
Source: Norway Today / Norsk Folkehjelp