Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 28, 2015
  • Updated: 10:54pm
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.

Complaints about helper agencies rise

Complaints about agencies providing domestic helpers are on the increase, with employers feeling cheated when new staff never arrive, quit within days of starting or lack the necessary skills.

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012, 12:00am

Filipino mother challenges refusal to extend her stay

Immigration chiefs have 'tolerated' a Filipino woman's presence in Hong Kong for the last five years but have refused to officially extend her stay despite her daughter being a permanent resident, a court heard.

Former domestic helper Milagros Tecson Comilang yesterday officially challenged the Immigration Department's repeated refusal to formally extend her stay in the city.

9 May 2012 - 12:00am

Court overturns maid abode ruling

Hong Kong's Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a landmark ruling that gave tens of thousands of domestic helpers the right to apply for permanent residency.

29 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Home is where the work is

Cheung Chun-fai was totally opposed when his daughter first broached the idea of hiring a maid to help care for his Alzheimer's stricken wife, Wong Mui-ling.

'I found the idea of having a stranger in the house unnerving. I am strong, and I have no problem tending to her needs,' says the 78-year-old former taxi driver.

26 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Official denies scare tactic claims on right of abode

The head of the Immigration Department yesterday dismissed suggestions that the government had resorted to scare tactics in its fight against pleas by domestic helpers to be allowed the right of abode in Hong Kong.

21 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Domestic helpers home in on ruling

The number of foreign domestic helpers applying for right of abode went from an average of just one a month before September's landmark permanent residency ruling to more than 200 a month after it.

While this represents just a tiny fraction of the 125,000 helpers who have lived in Hong Kong for at least seven years, it is a significant rise.

20 Jan 2012 - 12:00am


Interest of locals must come first

I refer to the unrest over the domestic helpers' right of abode case.

Given the sensitive nature of the issue, I don't wish to comment on where I stand in the debate, but there are a few points I do wish to raise.

28 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Unions to poll maids on HK ambitions

A coalition of foreign domestic helper unions is launching a survey to find out how many maids plan to stay in Hong Kong permanently.

28 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Filipino couple take their residency fight to court

A Filipino couple fought in court yesterday for their right of abode, in the first case following the victory of a domestic helper last month.

The judicial review at the Court of First Instance was brought by Daniel and Irene Domingo, who have been living in Hong Kong for 26 and 29 years respectively, with three children born here.

19 Oct 2011 - 12:00am


We must hire more disabled people

Disabled people are still not accepted into the workforce, even though more have a higher level of education than in the past. The public, government and companies all bear responsibility for this discrimination.

19 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

HK's middle class vanishing act

Unless you count yourself among Hong Kong's wealthiest citizens, it's likely that you fell behind economically in the last few years - and fell hard.

11 Oct 2011 - 12:00am


Ruling has serious implications

The court ruling in favour of the right of a foreign domestic worker to apply for abode in Hong Kong needs urgent consideration and debate by the government and the wider public.

If this was just a one-off case, then I would not be concerned and would wish Evangeline Banao Vallejos good luck with her application for residency.

6 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

No residency for domestic helpers

The issue of whether foreign domestic helpers should be granted permanent residency has been in the news lately.

I think they should definitely not receive permanent residency status, although they have contributed a lot to our society.

28 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Hoarder disorder

If you think of money as the lubricant in civil society, hoarding it is the equivalent of seizing up an engine. When cash is allowed to pile up, the lubricant- payments for goods and services that allow people, in turn, to pay for more goods and services (plus provisions for those who cannot work)- ceases to flow.

18 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Justice chief under fire for 'gag' bid

The former director of public prosecutions yesterday rounded on the secretary for justice for calling on the public to keep quiet ahead of a forthcoming domestic helper's right of abode case.

19 Aug 2011 - 12:00am