Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 3, 2015
  • Updated: 9:28pm
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.

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.

Saturday, 21 January, 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

Quality of work is beside the point in right of abode for domestic helpers

I am afraid David Law ('Law barring foreign helpers from being granted permanent residency is unjust', August 15) has completely missed the point.

18 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Don't pressure the court over helpers, minister says

Hong Kong's justice minister has issued an impassioned plea for cool heads as division in the community grows over an upcoming legal battle between the government and domestic helpers in their bid for the right to permanent residency.

18 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Cutting working hours the next step

The doom and gloom scenarios employers painted about the introduction of a minimum wage for Hong Kong have not come to pass. Three months after they were forced by law to pay workers at least HK$28 an hour, the economy remains buoyant - despite recent volatility on the stock market - and the jobless rate unchanged.

13 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Whose side is Civic Party on, Liberals ask

The Liberal Party is ratcheting up its challenge to the Civic Party over its stance on foreign domestic helpers' rights to permanent residency.

11 Aug 2011 - 12:00am