Migrant domestic workers perform an invaluable service to Hong Kong, and its society.
By taking care of families and children, these migrant workers unlock an estimated US$13 billion to the city by letting women taking a career break return to the workforce. They also make sure children are fed, reach the school on time and receive the education that sets them up for life. This directly helps families. Two incomes instead of one helps ease the pressure on a single individual in a family. A good help can help professionals focus on their work through elder and child care. Elders in a family have a dedicated partner to help out with their healthcare needs. Not to mention steady and fruitful companionship.
Making sure that a household runs like clockwork takes nothing short of superhuman strength. And providing that strength to Hong Kong are the city’s migrant domestic workers.
Though the contributions of these workers from mostly the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and other southeast Asia countries is essential, they remain uniquely vulnerable in the face of numerous challenges. This is despite many of them being trained and qualified as nurses and teachers in their home countries.
Despite protection available to them in Hong Kong SAR’s there remains an undeniable gap in their ability to access justice and fair and equal treatment. Protecting them is imperative for the realisation of Hong Kong’s shared future. To achieve this, their unique needs and challenges need to be recognised and addressed for sustainable change to occur. Employers play an integral role in ensuring this to make possible an equal and mutually beneficial relationship.