Domestic worker agencies in Hong Kong have a long history of charging exorbitant or illegal fees to recruit domestic workers from overseas. However, a handful of ethical agencies have emerged in recent years to set a bold new precedent: no fees to workers, only employers. Most visibly, there was the Fair Employment Agency (FEA), founded by HKU professor David Bishop and Scott Stiles. While other agencies drive domestic workers into debt bondage in practically open defiance of the law, FEA, a nonprofit, has set out to restore ethics to a business model that forsook them long ago.
The International Labour Organization is hosting a photo exhibition entitled “No one should work this way”, to highlight the plight of domestic workers who have been abused during their time working in Hong Kong and beyond. The exhibition runs until July 31, 2015 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Central.
‘Beth’, now 20, from rural Philippines, abused in Manila.
“My employer would bang my head on the wall and she would throw hot water on me. She would burn my skin with cigarettes. She said this was the punishment for my sins.”
Among the professionals who went to work this Sunday were counsellors, chiropractors, Taekwondo instructors, and a dentist. But they did not go to their offices. Instead they set up shop beneath tents on Chater Road, offering their services for free to domestic workers enjoying their day off
They were there as part of “Give Care to Caregivers Day,” organised by the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) and held three to four times a year. Started in 2011, the event is designed as a way for the people of Hong Kong to show appreciation for domestic workers and the work they perform.
Hong Kong’s Filipino community celebrated the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day on Sunday along a main stretch of Central’s Chater Road.
The all-day programme included a marching band, troupes of men and women in tribal-wear, folk dances and singing, and even a visit from Bishop John Tong of St. John’s Cathedral. The celebration came a day after the country’s officially recognised date of independence on June 12th, in order to coincide with domestic workers’ Sunday rest day.
My Life in a Box tells the story of two young mothers that live together, have faced similar losses, and yet inhabit worlds that could not be further apart.
For Good have brought together NGOs and domestic workers for a kitsch music video extravaganza – a local take on ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge. Hk Helpers Campaign, Christian Action, Fair Employment Agency, Filreflex, Komadrona, St. John’s HIV Education Centre, The Grace Notes, Unsung Heroes, and dozens of individuals took part on Migrants Health Matters Day earlier this month.
Let your inner diva out, come down for 15 minutes and make your all-star appearance! All are welcome.
Simply turn up with your friends this Sunday at 3pm at St. John’s Cathedral in Central.
PRESS RELEASE: Domestic Workers’ Roundtable – April 25, 2015 – register here.
Domestic worker NGOS, lawmaker Emily Lau and the Philippines & Indonesian consulates will come together on Saturday to discuss issues affecting the helper community.
April 25, 2015, 2:00pm – 5:15pm, Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU.
TVB reports on the difficulties facing domestic workers who fall pregnant in Hong Kong. Part I:
Pro-Beijing politician Regina Ip has removed a controversial column from her blog and Facebook related to the sex lives of domestic workers. In the piece, also printed in Ming Pao, she decried the international media for “exaggerating” the Erwiana abuse case and made reference to the recent suicide of a teenager.