HELP for Domestic Workers is committed to supporting migrant domestic workers to gain access to justice and receive fair and equal treatment under the law in Hong Kong.
Our model is to empower migrant domestic workers through advice, assistance and education. We understand their individual needs in a non-judgemental manner and support those who need it. We recognise that our clients often need a holistic solution and so we not only provide advice on legal questions, but emergency shelter & financial assistance, counselling, medical referrals, and outreach services. HELP also provides a space for employers to seek advice on domestic workers’ rights and entitlements. We believe that sustainable change can only be made by working together with both domestic workers and employers.
We envisage a strong and prosperous society in Hong Kong where all migrant domestic workers are treated fairly, their legal rights are ensured, and that they are valued for the contribution that they make as employees to society.
To ensure that migrant domestic workers gain access to justice and receive fair and equal treatment under the law. Our commitment is to work impartially with both migrant domestic workers and employers to achieve this.
In 1989, James Collins, a barrister from Wales and a worshipping member of St John’s Cathedral, offered a sympathetic ear to the problems of domestic workers in Hong Kong. He and other lawyers started to provide free advice to the domestic workers on Sundays. Soon, they were overwhelmed as the demand for their assistance grew, and the Cathedral provided a telephone and an office for them to work from. The domestic workers were aided with employment, immigration and human rights issues. James felt it was important that these workers had access to the law and knew their rights regarding the law. Today, HELP for Domestic Workers has four full-time staff and a team of volunteers to assist in providing advice and support to domestic workers in need.
James was committed to assisting domestic workers even after he retired in 2015. At his retirement dinner, he highlighted the fact that 25 years after he founded the organisation that the need of their services was even greater than when he started.
James was compassionate and caring and an accomplished barrister. In 2000, James represented a domestic worker in a landmark case, Bachiva v Poon, which helped establish the principle that gives employees, including domestic workers in Hong Kong who have been subjected to abuse the right to claim general damages. The result of the case provides for a fairer level of compensation than statutory damages, to which employees had been previously limited. James passed away in 2016 and his legacy lives on at HELP for Domestic Workers.
Founded in 1989 by a group of lawyers as Helpers for Domestic Helpers
Rebranded the organisation as HELP for Domestic Workers
‘HELP Limited’ established as an independent charity under sec. 88 of the IRD
Supporting migrant domestic workers and employers to build mutually supportive employment relationships
What We Do
HELP’s primary mission is to support migrant domestic workers to gain access to justice and receive fair and equal treatment under the law.
It is our belief that sustainable change can only be achieved through engaging both domestic workers and employers to build mutually beneficial relationships.
HELP’s service model is based on the three primary pillars of awareness & education, advice & assistance, and empowerment & peer support with services being offered to both domestic workers and employers.
Through our programmes we aim to not only bridge the gap between domestic workers and employers but also create pathways for access to justice for both parties.