In a statement to the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, Indonesian consul-general Chalief Akbar Tjandraningrat claimed that the problem of abuse amongst domestic migrant workers is ‘very rare in Hong Kong’. It is disheartening to know that the top Indonesian official in Hong Kong is claiming that Hong Kong is a safe place for migrant workers, despite repeated evidence to the contrary.
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; International Labour Organization; Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch and others have all cited areas for improvement in Hong Kong’s policies regarding domestic workers.
In response to the case of Erwiana, CY Leung and Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung have both pledged to uphold the law of Hong Kong, but have yet to lay out how specifically that will be done with regards to domestic workers. This mistreatment is something that happens behind closed doors and is difficult to prove; thus the only way to adequately address it is to take preventative measures. Sunday’s rally, organized in under a week to call for justice, was attended by thousands and indicates the growing sentiment amongst migrant workers and Hong Kongers alike that retroactive measures for abuse victims is not sufficient.