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Founder of migrant worker rights group HOME dies

Founder of migrant worker rights group HOME dies

Bridget Tan, founder of migrant worker rights group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME). (Photo: Facebook/Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics)

SINGAPORE: Bridget Tan, the founder of migrant workers' group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), died on Monday (Apr 18). She was 73. 

HOME announced the news on its social media accounts on Monday, noting that Ms Tan had spent the last few years in Batam, recuperating and working with non-profit groups there after suffering a stroke in February 2014. 

"We are deeply saddened by the news, and our prayers are with her family," the migrant workers group said. 

Ms Tan founded HOME in 2004, having previously chaired the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. 

In its statement, HOME described Ms Tan as an "untiring advocate and champion of the rights of migrant workers".

"She played a key role in establishing HOME’s current activities, which includes our shelter for abused domestic workers, skills training programmes, and our legal and employment advice services for all migrant workers," said the group, noting such services were "almost non-existent" when HOME was formally established.

Ms Tan played "an active role in contributing to public discussion on the welfare and rights of migrants to change mindsets and policies", HOME said, noting she was also active on international and regional advocacy platforms.

"Bridget was a true friend and ally of the migrants; she always provided a listening ear and extended a helping hand to many in need."

For her work in championing the rights of migrant workers, Ms Tan was inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame in 2015. 

The Singapore Women's Hall of Fame website noted that Ms Tan was one of three winners of Mediacorp’s Singapore Woman Award in 2012, and that the governments of Thailand and the Philippines had presented Ms Tan with awards for her work with migrant workers. 

It added that in 2011, she received the Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award from former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The award is for those who have "devoted their lives" to the fight against human trafficking. 

Source: CNA/az(zl)


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