Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

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.

Philippine consulate voices concern over Regina Ip’s ‘unfortunate choice of words’ about Filipino maids

Regina Ip said the public had misunderstood her article. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong on Monday night issued a statement to express concern about the “unfortunate choice of words” by high-profile politician Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who made controversial comments about domestic helpers sleeping with expatriate bosses.

Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 12:24am 28 comments

Regina Ip accused of racism over tales of Filipino maids bedding expat bosses

Executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said she should not apologise for the anecdotes as she was 'only stating the facts'. Photo: Edward Wong

Executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee refused to apologise to Hong Kong's Filipino community yesterday after sparking outrage by quoting anecdotes of domestic helpers seducing expatriate bosses.

18 Apr 2015 - 1:30pm 118 comments

Hong Kong’s only Myanmese helper agency to shut down as boss blames government

Law Yiu-keung reflects on his misfortune in his Tsuen Wan office. He says he has lost at least HK$2 million. Photo: May Tse

The only recruitment agency in Hong Kong permitted to bring in maids from Myanmar has folded, with its owner at least HK$2 million out of pocket and accusing the Myanmese government of victimisation.

1 Apr 2015 - 2:48am

Hong Kong domestic helpers allege murder over death of maid crushed by concrete slab

Workers groups protest at the Sunlight Employment Agency, where Elis Kurniasih was crushed, on Tuesday in North Point. Photo: David Wong

The Indonesian domestic helper who was killed by a falling 60kg concrete slab in North Point was the sole breadwinner of the family, her uncle said in hospital, minutes before he was informed of her death.

18 Mar 2015 - 5:20am 8 comments

'I will fight for her': Uncle of crushed Hong Kong maid speaks out minutes before her death

Elis Kurniasih and her uncle, Sudrajat. Photo: David Wong

In a poignant interview that ended just minutes before Elis Kurniasih died on Monday night, her uncle told the South China Morning Post why it was he and not her parents who had flown to be by the domestic worker’s side.

17 Mar 2015 - 11:24am 1 comment

Hong Kong maid dies five days after being crushed by falling concrete slab

Hong Kong maid dies five days after being crushed by falling concrete slab

An Indonesian domestic worker has died, five days after she was crushed by a 60kg slab of concrete while sleeping on the balcony of a guesthouse run by her employment agency.

17 Mar 2015 - 10:53am 24 comments

Hong Kong maid has leg amputated while in coma after 60kg concrete block falls on her

Elis Kurniasih was hit by a falling concrete slab as she slept on a Hong Kong balcony.

A domestic helper has had her left leg amputated after a 60kg piece of concrete fell and crushed her while she was sleeping on the balcony of her employment agency's boarding house.

16 Mar 2015 - 8:47pm 2 comments

Reform regulation of domestic helpers to protect them from abuse, rights group urges

Erwiana (left) and lawmaker Emily Lau yesterday. Photo: David Wong

Labour rights advocates and a group of pan-democrats have joined forces to call on the government to review policies on domestic helpers after the employer of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih was jailed for six years on Friday.

4 Mar 2015 - 12:44am 3 comments

How I survived the ‘terrorist attack’ of being falsely accused of wounding my maid

Defendant Ngan Suk-wai (left) was cleared of wounding Anis Andriyani with intent. Photos: David Wong, K.Y. Cheng

Employer Ngan Suk-wai, a self-described ordinary mother, recalls the ordeal of going to court to face false accusations that she cut her domestic helper's finger with a knife.

27 Feb 2015 - 5:24pm 16 comments

Government makes maids' plight worse by failing to enforce rules

Activist Fish Ip says if helpers leave the job, then they can't pay back the agency fees.

The crushed dreams of helpers like Maricel Angeles can be seen as a failure of the government to enforce policies that are sound, rectify ones that are flawed, or ensure that helpers' interests are protected and valued.

22 Feb 2015 - 5:04am 4 comments

Indonesia to stop sending maids to work abroad 'to preserve country's dignity': President

45 per cent of foreign domestic helpers working in Hong Kong are Indonesian. Photo: AFP

Indonesia will no longer send woman abroad to work as maids in a bid to preserve the country's dignity, President Joko Widodo has announced, according to reports.

16 Feb 2015 - 8:11pm 7 comments

A maid’s tale: The story of one woman’s struggle to become a domestic helper

A maid’s tale: The story of one woman’s struggle to become a domestic helper

An ordinary domestic helper from Manila reaches her dream city of Hong Kong – only to find herself at odds with a flawed and troubled labour system

1 May 2015 - 12:14pm

Hong Kong employer cleared of cutting Indonesian maid’s finger

Defendant Ngan Suk-wai was cleared of wounding Anis Andriyani with intent. Photos: David Wong, K.Y. Cheng

An emotional employer spoke out against violence on domestic workers on Thursday - minutes after she was acquitted of cutting her helper's finger.

13 Feb 2015 - 3:54am 3 comments

Non-profit agency places first 49 domestic helpers in Hong Kong

Non-profit agency places first 49 domestic helpers in Hong Kong

Asia's first not-for-profit domestic helpers recruitment agency has placed 49 maids with employers in Hong Kong since embarking on its no-placement-fee "revolution" last September, one of its founders said.

12 Feb 2015 - 5:24am 3 comments

Language and cultural barriers leave Hong Kong's Indonesian maids 'more vulnerable to abuse'

Indonesian domestic workers tend to be less well educated than their Filipino peers. Photo: AFP

Language barriers and cultural differences may partly explain why Indonesian domestic helpers have been caught up in three of the city's most horrific abuse cases over the past 13 years.

12 Feb 2015 - 8:51am 15 comments