Migrant workers play a very crucial role in making Singapore what it is. Their presence have been blurred into our landscape. Their deaths are often reported as just another number in our mainstream media. Often, their presence in our streets are even scoffed at by self-righteous Singaporeans.
A group of Singaporeans who have been involved in migrant justice work decided to work on this. In an interactive map, they made a website that features information about migrant worker deaths in Singapore between 1 Jan 2000 and 3 Aug 2022.
“We want to honour and dignify the people whose lives have been prematurely cut short in Singapore—individuals who leave their homes and families to build our homes and families. Male Migrant Workers (MMWs) actualise our schools, flats, places of worship; Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) raise our children, run our homes, and (literally) put food on the table.”Migrant Death Map
Not easy to collect data
News sources often provide only vague information. They would often say that it is to protect the identity of the victims. However, does hiding the identity of the dead really protect them, or does it protect the living? The living in this case being the migrant workers’ employers?
“We often confronted words like ‘reportedly’ and ‘allegedly’ in articles, signalling a certain unreliability of information. But these two words create space for oral accounts and marginalised narratives—truths that are unverified because they have been deemed illegible by authority… Bhing, Sharif, and Maw Lwin’s sharings, like oral history traditions, held the key.”Migrant Death Map
Read more about the workers who gave their lives to build our country on their website, migrantdeathmap.sg.