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.
Labour chief Matthew Cheung Kin-chung has flatly rejected calls to lift the live-in rule for foreign domestic helpers. Last week's news that another maid had been abused sparked the latest demands from domestic helpers to allow them to live away from their bosses.Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 10:41am 20 comments
An international news magazine has headlined a reference to Indonesian maids as Hong Kong's modern-day slaves. This was prompted by alleged serial assault of a maid by her local employers, widely reported here and abroad. It is unfair to most employers and an undeserved slur on the city's reputation. Nonetheless, such abuse must be condemned in the strongest terms.21 Jan 2014 - 10:39am 3 comments
The Hong Kong government has vowed to step up monitoring of employment agencies for foreign domestic helpers after two Indonesian maids alleged that their Hong Kong employer had tortured them separately.21 Jan 2014 - 10:39am 9 comments
You will hear all kinds of excuses and defences about how Hong Kong has better legal protection for foreign maids than most other jurisdictions. Officials, agents and bosses will circle their wagons, insisting what happened was an isolated incident rather than something widespread.21 Jan 2014 - 10:38am 23 comments
An Indonesian domestic helper who claims she worked for the employer accused of torturing Erwiana Sulistyaningsih revealed yesterday that she had suffered similar beatings and death threats in 2010.21 Jan 2014 - 10:38am
Laws designed to protect maids ignored
I could not agree more with Geoff Carey's letter regarding the vulnerability of domestic helpers in Hong Kong ("Maids will be at mercy of agencies", January 1).
I especially want to direct attention to his point that Hong Kong does have rule of law, "but its effectiveness depends on enforcement".7 Jan 2013 - 2:36am 3 comments
Europe's economic troubles are washing up on Hong Kong's shores in the form of a surge in migrants from the continent coming to the city to work.28 Jul 2012 - 12:00am
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.16 May 2012 - 12:00am
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
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
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
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
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
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