Category Archives : Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Domestic Workers’ Roundtable this Sat

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.

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April 25, 2015, 2:00pm – 5:15pm, Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU.

UPDATE – Thank You! Justice For Elis Campaign Raises HK$45,000

Thank you to all who donated to the campaign. On Tuesday, Mission for Migrant Workers passed on HK$45,030 (after PayPal and bank fees) to Elis’s family.

This sum will make a huge difference to the family and give them some breathing room as they consider their legal options. HK Helpers Campaign and Mission for Migrant Workers are grateful to all of those who took the time to donate. Thank you everyone once again for your amazing generosity!

Justice for Elis

PRESS RELEASE: “Shocking” Actions by HK Authorities a “Conflict of Interests” – Lawyer

In a statement, Hong Kong barrister-at-law Robert Tibbo has commented on the actions of the Hong Kong authorities this evening stating that “the circumstances of Erwiana’s return to Hong Kong are nothing less than shocking”. Mr Tibbo is legal advisor to the HK Helpers Campaign and also advised Edward Snowden during his visit to Hong Kong last year. Today, he spoke of a potential conflict of interests regarding the actions of the authorities…

“With Erwiana’s right to sue the Hong Kong government for breaches of Articles 3 (Torture) and 4 (Slavery) of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, Cap. 383, and in light of the respective Hong Kong Immigration and Police Department threatening and oppressive conduct of today, Erwiana should have absolute minimal necessary contact with the Hong Kong government aside from the Prosecutor in criminal proceedings instituted against her former employer.”

Erwiana accompanied by officials at HK's airport,

Erwiana accompanied by officials at HK’s airport, via Straits Times

“The respective Hong Kong and Indonesian government interests are clearly adverse to Erwiana’s rights and interests. This is case where Erwiana would be best protected by having Hong Kong lawyers stand between her and the respective Indonesian and Hong Kong governments so that the abuses of today are brought to an immediate stop. This would effectively remove the conflict of interests that exists between Erwiana and Hong Kong and Indonesian authorities”

PRESS RELEASE: LegCo Meeting on Domestic Helper Rules, Following Torture Case

LEGCO MEETING this THURS: Gov’t meeting on Domestic Workers & Agency Rules

The HK govt’s Legislative Council Panel on Manpower  will hold a committee meeting on Thursday to discuss: “Policies relating to foreign domestic helpers and regulation of employment agencies” on 27th Feb, 14:30-17:30, Conference Room 2 of LegCo complex. Agenda.

HK Helpers Campaign has made a submission. Barrister-at-law and legal advisor to the Campaign, Rob Connelly, has also made a separate submission…

Over 50 groups will attend this meeting, highlighting the importance of this issue for the people of Hong Kong. A number of these groups such as Amnesty International, Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH), the Civic Party and others are supportive of an improvement in rules for domestic workers, while others are not, such as the Liberal Party and the Hong Kong Employment Agencies Association Ltd.

PRESS RELEASE: Abuse is “Rare”? Our response to the Indonesian Consul

5,000 protesters rallied on Sunday against abuse.

5,000 protesters rallied on Sunday against abuse.

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.

EVENT – Protest Tomorrow, Noon, at Labour Department

An announcement below from the Justice for Erwiana Committee. Visit the Erwiana Justice Centre to donate directly to her.

Justice for Erwiana


Dear friends,

The case of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is the latest exposed case of abuse and violence against migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong that should urge the Hong Kong government to make a thorough review on its policies that put the likes of Erwiana in a condition vulnerable to violation of their rights and dignity as a woman, worker and as a human being.
Hong Kong Labour Department plays a big role in defining the labour condition of migrant workers aside from regulating recruitment agencies and their practices.
It was very unfortunate that despite the gravity of Erwiana’s case, Labour Secretary Matthew Cheung publicly stated that the mandatory live-in employment arrangement – a policy that put MDWs vulnerable to abuses – is here to stay. This statement does not help at all in improving the condition of MDWs in Hong Kong that will mitigate the possibility of more women experiencing the horrors of Erwiana and other forms of violence.

PRESS RELEASE – Official Launch of HK Helpers Campaign


 Download press release
The HK Helpers Campaign officially launches today at
  • Who? – 6 months in the making, we are an independent Hong Kong campaign formed by a group of local activists to promote the rights of local Foreign Domestic Workers.
  • What? – Our objective is to amplify the voices of helpers by linking them, and relevant NGOs, with those in the media, law, politics and academia. We believe helpers are the backbone of the middle class and engine of the Hong Kong economy.
  • Why? – The ultimate aim is to apply pressure to successfully achieve our three basic campaign points. To (1) scrap the ‘two-week’ law, (2) to enforce maximum working hours and (3) to end illegal agency fees. The live-in law and two-week rule discourage helpers, like Erwiana, from escaping abusive situations, whilst illegal agency fees can leave newly arrived maids in debt bondage for months on end.
  • How? – We will achieve our objectives via a public multimedia advocacy campaign and by lobbying key-players one-on-one. We also intend to pursue our campaign points through the courts with the support of our legal advisor, Robert Tibbo. Mr Tibbo is a top human rights lawyer in Hong Kong who advises Vision First. He also advised Edward Snowden and spoke about the Erwiana case in a front page South China Morning Post article today.
We have worked extensively with local stakeholders to form our 3 simple campaign points and have a comprehensive action centre at along with a special centre. There are dozens of ways listed for the public to help enact change.We are also building a ‘For Helpers’ section This is our response to recent abuse cases and lists helplines, do/don’ts and advice in 6 languages – search engine optimised to assist domestic workers in danger or seeking help.