• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 2:09pm

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.

Reason has been cast out in the debate over maids' rights

None of the players in the 'right of abode for domestic helpers' drama has acquitted themselves well so far, and some have been downright dangerous. It is a time for sober reflection rather than incendiary statements.

Monday, 8 August, 2011, 12:00am

Letters

Costly right of abode for helpers

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

Those who believe it won't are living in denial. I had a domestic helper who went to work in Canada and now her entire family of more than eight people are citizens there, thanks to her.

5 Aug 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