Old Ministry of Labour Building

Old Ministry Of Labour Building

Old Ministry of Labour Building

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The Old Ministry of Labour Building (Chinese: 前劳工部大厦) currently houses the Family and Juvenile Court of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. It is located at Havelock Square in the Outram Planning Area, within the Central Area of Singapore's central business district.

The building stands on the site of the former Chinese ProtectorateBuilding which was established in 1877 to protect and control Chinese immigrants to Singapore. The building has been restored and is now used as the Family and Juvenile Court of Singapore.


A grand Neo-Classical building built in 1928, the former Ministry of Labour Building is used by the judiciary and has been refurbished. In 1930, the building housed the Chinese Protectorate which was set up as an intermediary between the government and the Chinese community. Its role was to look after the welfare of the Chinese community; its work involved fighting the exploitation of prostitutes and coolies by their agents, the regulation of Chinese societie, and the control of triads.

In the early years of Singapore's development, immigrants arrived in droves; villagers from southern China constituted the largest group of immigrants. Most were men who had come to look for work as indentured labourers, or coolies. They were often abused by their agents, who held them indebted for their passage here or for fees of one kind or another. Many of the Chinese women who came ended up in brothels. Laws concerning the welfare of Chinese immigrants...
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