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.
After a record number of complaints against recruitment agencies for domestic helpers last year, let alone anecdotal evidence of overcharging and disregard for maids' rights and welfare, it is a worry that the Labour Department denied licence renewals to only four out of 1,250-odd during the period.Thursday, 6 March, 2014, 7:29am
Hong Kong will overhaul its regulatory system for foreign domestic helpers and revise punishments for unscrupulous employment agencies that are currently set "too low", the labour and welfare secretary told the South China Morning Post on Thursday.28 Feb 2014 - 2:57am 10 comments
Only four recruitment agencies for domestic helpers lost their licences last year despite a record total of complaints against them. The findings by the South China Morning Post prompted calls for a self-regulating industry body to be set up to help protect foreign domestic workers.25 Feb 2014 - 7:31am 7 comments
The first group of maids hired from Myanmar arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, pronouncing themselves happy and excited to be in the city but saddled with a HK$16,000 agency debt that will take half their salaries for the first year.
For many of the 19 domestic workers from the former closed state, it was the first time they had set foot outside their country.24 Mar 2014 - 4:52pm 1 comment
More than 1,300 foreign domestic helpers who applied for work visas in Hong Kong last year were suspected of "job-hopping" to collect severance pay, the Security Bureau says.
Of those, 170 applications were rejected, while another 158 were voluntarily withdrawn, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said yesterday.20 Feb 2014 - 4:48pm 4 comments
Hong Kong could show its commitment to human rights by adopting provisions in an international treaty, including allowing domestic helpers to live outside employers' homes, a United Nations labour law expert says.16 Feb 2014 - 4:46am 2 comments
A former maid of the woman who allegedly abused Indonesian domestic helper Erwiana Sulistyaningsih has applied for legal aid for a civil lawsuit against her ex-employer, according to the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union.10 Feb 2014 - 8:55am
As controversy continues over the treatment of domestic helpers in the SAR, Oake Khaung, the founder of Yangon recruitment company Gold Mine Manpower, said the official paperwork for the first group of 19 workers - who are due to arrive next week - had still not been completed, signalling that Myanmar's Ministry of Labour wanted to ensure their rights would be protected.9 Feb 2014 - 5:20am 3 comments
Domestic helpers coming to Hong Kong from Myanmar will have to pay about HK$16,000 to their home recruitment agency - the highest fee in the region.6 Feb 2014 - 9:10am 3 comments
Doctors discharged injured Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih yesterday after a stay of nearly a month in hospital. Surrounded by relatives, a tearful but smiling Erwiana emerged in a wheelchair from Amal Sehat Islamic Hospital in Sragen, in the eastern part of central Java, to be greeted by an army of well-wishers.10 Feb 2014 - 3:07pm
The government last week announced that official and diplomatic Philippine passport holders - up to 800 of them visit the city each year - would no longer be allowed to enjoy a 14-day visa-free arrangement.3 Feb 2014 - 3:59am 5 comments
The number of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong has risen since the 1980s, and has coincided with the city's economic growth. According to the Immigration Department, more than 310,000 were in Hong Kong as of May last year, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia. On average, one in eight households now has a maid; the figure is one in three for households with children.3 Feb 2014 - 3:48am 7 comments
When Indonesian domestic worker Sringatin arrived in Hong Kong 12 years ago, she had a simple dream of earning a decent living and helping her family. Little did she realise that in just over a decade, she would be the public face for Hong Kong's foreign domestic helpers.27 Jan 2014 - 4:30am
Police and labour officials returned to Hong Kong from Indonesia last night after a six-day visit to investigate allegations of abuse against domestic worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih.26 Jan 2014 - 5:33am
Hong Kong's laws are supposed to protect maids against abuse. Consulate-generals are required to help their nationals in times of need. Domestic helper employment agencies should offer an extra layer of support. How, then, could Indonesian Erwiana Sulistyaningsih have been so badly abused, allegedly by her employer? The answer is simple enough: the system failed the 23-year-old woman, who remains in an Indonesian hospital with horrific injuries.24 Jan 2014 - 3:15am 3 comments