Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong
Foreign domestic workers make up around 3 per cent of the Hong Kong population. In 2013, there were some 320,000 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, of which 50 per cent were from the Philippines, 47 per cent from Indonesia, and the rest from Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Hong Kong law states that such workers must reside with their employers. Their wages are subject to a statutory minimum of HK$4,010 per month from September 30 last year. There have been several high-profile court cases in which domestic workers have alleged torture and abuse at the hands of their employers. According to a 2013 report by Amnesty International, Indonesian migrant domestic workers are at risk of serious human and labour rights violations in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police take statement from Erwiana in Indonesia
Hong Kong police started interviewing Indonesian domestic helper Erwiana Sulistyaningsih — who alleges she was beaten by her employer — in her hospital back home on Tuesday morning.
They may also take a statement from her Indonesian recruitment agency later in the day, according to a local police source.
Chief Inspector Chung Chi-ming of Kwun Tong district crime squad, said: "We have started interviewing Erwiana and her condition is such that she was able to answer our questions fully."
"We will be as efficient as we can in order to prevent unnecessary hardship for Erwiana," he added.
At 12:30 pm (Hong Kong time 1.30pm), Senior Inspector Candy Li Ka-yan of Kwun Tong district crime squad said that Erwiana needs to take some rest and they will continue to interview her in the afternoon.
"The Labour Department officials will follow after the police inquiry to ask questions related to the employment ordinance," said Li, adding that police are monitoring Erwiana’s medical condition together with her doctors.
Erwiana was calm, had no sign of distress and answered the Hong Kong investigators' questions carefully, according to Iweng Karsiwen, a member of the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers representing the family.
A team of four police officers led by Chung arrived on Monday evening to work with local authorities in an investigation into allegations that Erwiana had been tortured by her Hong Kong employer for months.
The local investigation is headed by the Criminal Investigation Department of Indonesian police based in Jakarta, said officer Dani Hamdani of Jakarta ’ s General Crime Section.
Dani said investigators had called on Erwiana’s recruitment agency to come to Sragen from Tangerang city near Jakarta to give a statement to local and Hong Kong police.
"The agency has agreed and we expect to take their statement today [Tuesday] at the local police station. They will speak to local police directly and Hong Kong police would be able to ask additional questions," he said.
But Chung said that an investigation into the recruitment agency is under the jurisdiction of local police and Hong Kong police would only receive information on the agency shared by Indonesian police.