Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
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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.

Letters

Costly right of abode for helpers

Giving right of abode to domestic helpers would indeed carry a high price tag.

Friday, 5 August, 2011, 12:00am

Cross-border neighbours deserve a warm welcome

As a member of the Basic Law Committee, I can only stay silent on the judicial reviews sought by Filipino domestic helpers on the right of abode issue and on whether another interpretation of Hong Kong's mini-constitution may be necessary.

But I am free to comment on another side of the issue: that is, why are we discriminating against our own people?

5 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Wild talk over abode rights for maids reveals our prejudice

The judicial reviews sought by a group of Filipinos fighting to lift the current residency restriction on foreign domestic helpers are stoking widespread fear of a grave social impact if they should succeed. Foreign domestic helpers are now perceived as an underlying threat to social stability and cast as hostile outsiders.

3 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

DAB scare tactics ring false alarm

It is unnerving to think this, but there seems to be a link between the blind hatred of outsiders and their cultures exhibited by the massacre in Norway and the drumbeat of fear being played in Hong Kong by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and its attendant 'leftist' media over the prospect that some more brown people might get permanent residence.

31 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Letters

Grant helpers residency like spouses

I have lived in Hong Kong as the wife of a local for 26 years.

For 19 of those years I have had permanent residency, purely by dint of marriage. Although I do work, I could just as easily have chosen not to.

30 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

RUSH FOR RESIDENCY FOLLOWS HANDOUTS

Applications for permanent residency in Hong Kong more than doubled in the four weeks after the government announced its controversial HK$6,000 handout plan.

The figure for March represented a 123 per cent increase on the number of applicants in February.

22 May 2011 - 12:00am

Rush for residency follows handouts

Applications for permanent residency in Hong Kong more than doubled in the four weeks after the government announced its controversial HK$6,000 handout plan.

The figure for March represented a 123 per cent increase on the number of applicants in February.

22 May 2011 - 12:00am

Letters

Plastic bag tax must be extended

I refer to the government's study claiming that the plastic bag levy has not been as successful as expected ('Levy fails to halt shopping bags' disposal', May 13).

19 May 2011 - 12:00am

Philippine workers' law needs prompt revision

Overseas workers are the lifeblood of the Philippine economy, so it makes sense that a law has gone into force ensuring that a comprehensive insurance policy accompanies each new employment contract. Recruitment agencies had long been pushing the idea to protect against liability, but it became a political issue during the last election campaign and was quickly turned into legislation.

15 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Helpers' visas now easier to renew

It will be easier for the city's 250,000 foreign domestic helpers to renew their visas from next week, with online, mail and drop-in applications offered as alternatives to standing in long queues in the Immigration Department.

6 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

A wage that's affordable, and affords a decent life

Hong Kong is wealthy. On a global ranking of average per capita income, it stands seventh out of 181 economies, beside Switzerland, a notch below the US, and above Ireland, Canada, Australia and Britain. With such riches, all residents should be able to live decently with dignity.

8 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Letters

No country practises real democracy

I agree with Stephen Chan ('Democracy offers the best route to change', March 10), but with the proviso that we are speaking of real, and not just formal, democracy.

15 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Mainland maids: a minefield in the making?

Hong Kong's economic miracle was created by China's economic reform and open-door policy in the 1970s. This dramatic shift of our economy saw the rise of a new middle class, providing opportunities for both parents to work. The new trend gave rise to the need for domestic helpers to take care of young children and elderly grandparents at home.

30 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

No timetable on mainland maids, says think-tank chief

The head of a top government think tank has said that it has no timetable or policy on bringing domestic helpers in from the mainland, despite the fact that it is conducting a feasibility study into the issue.

29 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

Two-week rule for helpers could be exacerbating cases of abuse

I refer to the report 'UN calls for rule on helpers to be scrapped', (August 29). I would like to ask the chief executive for a public explanation of the rule 'that requires domestic helpers to leave the city within two weeks upon termination of their contract'. I suspect it is being abused by a few employers.

4 Sep 2009 - 12:00am