SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating cases of maids being "marketed inappropriately" on online marketplace Carousell.
"MOM is aware of cases where foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are being marketed inappropriately on the online buying and selling site, Carousell," MOM said in a Facebook post on Friday (Sep 14).
The ministry added that it has arranged for such listings to be taken down.
Carousell user "maid.recruitment" posted listings showing several domestic workers from Indonesia, along with their names and ages.
The account has since removed such listings. Carousell said on Saturday that it has suspended the account.
"Our team detected around 50 listings and all were removed right away," said a Carousell spokesperson.
"Carousell strictly prohibits any form of advertising that involves human beings ... Any display or sharing of individuals’ personal biodata is strictly prohibited, as this violates our guidelines," it added.
The company has detection systems in place, said the spokesperson.
"Our detection systems and dedicated teams set us up to automatically remove any form of listings that violates our community guidelines or items that are prohibited, such as those involving human beings."
Carousell added that it is working with the authorities in their investigations.
"Advertising FDWs like commodities is unacceptable and an offence under Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act, which states that an employment agency should not act in a manner likely to be detrimental to the interests of its clients," said MOM.
Any agency found guilty could receive demerit points and have its licence suspended or revoked, said the ministry, adding that it expects agencies to be "responsible and exercise sensitivity when marketing their services".
Offenders can be fined up to S$80,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.
Anyone who uses the services provided by an unlicensed agency can also be fined up to S$5,000.
The ministry reminded the public to use only MOM-licensed employment agencies and to check that the company they engage is registered and legal.