Au pair abusers can be banned

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Among new laws and regulations taking effect in Norway from July 1st is a measure aimed at protecting au pair from exploitation and abuse. Families found to have used their au pair merely as overworked and underpaid domestic help, for example, can be banned from ever taking in au pair again.

News bureau NTB reported this week that the law change applies both when families have violated the terms of au pair contracts and when a person in an au pair’s host family has committed crimes against an au pair.

The vast majority of au pair in Norway come from the Philippines on what was supposed to be cultural exchange. In return for helping around the house and looking after small children, the au pair (normally young women) will be able to learn more about Norwegian culture and the language.

All too often, however, the au pair system has been abused by Norwegians seeking low-paid domestic help. Several cases have gone to court, in which au pairs have been forced to work long days, haven’t received any cultural experienced and have even been physially assaulted. Offenders have received jail terms while others were only temporarily banned from the program.

newsinenglish.no staff