Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 30, 2015
  • Updated: 3:18pm
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.


Q Is the pay rise for foreign domestic helpers appropriate?

Thursday, 1 June, 2006, 12:00am


ROMEL CHITO MACARIO and his friends stand out in the crowd of migrant workers gathered outside the Legco building, the only men in a sea of women. But like their female counterparts, many are far from home and family - and earning their wages by taking care of the homes and families of others.

12 May 2006 - 12:00am

Pay protest by foreign maids will go ahead

An umbrella group of foreign domestic helpers will go ahead with a protest on March 5 to press the government to raise their monthly pay to $3,670, after a meeting with a government official failed to ease workers' fears.

The protest is being held ahead of an announcement by the administration of a pay review for 200,000 domestic helpers in Hong Kong, expected in April.

20 Feb 2006 - 12:00am

Helpers will get support to appear in wage cases

Aggrieved foreign domestic helpers will be provided with accommodation and passage to Hong Kong as an incentive to testify against unscrupulous employers, the labour chief said yesterday.

3 Oct 2005 - 12:00am

We will do all we can to protect maids, says senior official

A senior government official yesterday pledged to step up efforts to protect the rights of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, including raising the maximum penalty for wage offences.

23 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Government plans to do more to help plight of foreign maids

Updated at 5.48pm: Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said on Thursday the government wanted to develop stronger relations with groups representing foreign maids in Hong Kong.

22 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Consider HK's mainland mums

I read with interest and concern your article 'Mainland mums may get $20,000 hospital bill' (April 24) on the possibility of increased Hospital Authority charges for mainland women giving birth in public hospitals.

On the face of it, it seems hard to argue with the proposition that we should ensure that outsiders do not take advantage of Hong Kong.

15 May 2005 - 12:00am

Maid's fight for abode has led to crackdown, says group

A landmark case that could open the way for foreign domestic helpers to seek permanent residency has prompted authorities to enforce end-of-contract vacations to break their continuity of stay, it has been claimed.

Rights activists say the development emerged soon after the case of Julita Raza reached the courts.

13 Jun 2004 - 12:00am


Q Do domestic helpers deserve permanent residency rights?

I would like to reply to the letter written by Moses Dharma on this issue.

In the two years my family and I have lived in Hong Kong we have seen the rights of domestic helpers abused and disregarded by the authorities.

30 Sep 2003 - 12:00am

Residency scheme a winner: Tsang

Hong Kong's proposed population policy would give it a competitive edge over Singapore in attracting foreign investors to become permanent residents, Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said yesterday.

The government has proposed foreign nationals be allowed to apply for permanent residency if they invest at least HK$6.5 million in Hong Kong and stay here for seven years.

2 Mar 2003 - 12:00am

10,000 maids in protest against levy

SCMP, February 24, 2003

By Mary Ann Benitez

At least 10,000 foreign domestic helpers joined a march yesterday against proposals to impose a $400 levy on their wages.

28 Feb 2003 - 12:00am

Blueprint to attract quality migrants

Wide-ranging measures to encourage wealthy overseas investors and mainland professionals to enter Hong Kong were unveiled by the government yesterday as it launched a new population policy aimed at ensuring a vibrant economy.

27 Feb 2003 - 12:00am

It boils down to a test of strength and character

The ultimate goal of a knowledge-based economy and a world-class city may seem grandiose, but the package of population policy initiatives unveiled yesterday reads more like an action plan to tackle pressing economic-related issues.

27 Feb 2003 - 12:00am


In these difficult economic times, it is important that we all pull together and share the pain.

18 Feb 2003 - 12:00am

Filipinos still the biggest overseas community

Filipinos continue to make up the biggest single group of foreigners living in Hong Kong, although their numbers have dropped slightly since last year, according to government statistics.

Immigration officials say that at the end of last year there were 142,640 Filipinos resident in Hong Kong - 4,670 fewer than at the same time in 2001.

9 Feb 2003 - 12:00am