hong kong ofws protest proposed policy to keep them from leaving bad employers
Philippines’ MANILA- A group called United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-Migrante HK) is protesting the potential implementation of new rules that would restrict the movement of overseas Filipino workers who have been sent there as domestic helpers.
Following the launch of a public consultation on a policy relating to the termination of migrant domestic workers’ (MDWs’) contracts and the implementation of strict measures on them changing employers, this has happened in Hong Kong. To stop MDWs from leaving their employers and changing jobs, lawmakers are recommending regulating contract termination.
No migrant domestic worker will be forced to break a contract, and we won’t even consider quitting our job, according to Dolores Balladares, chairperson of UNIFIL-Migrante HK. “[If] we are treated justly and humanely, our working conditions [are] good, and our rights as migrant workers inside our employer’s household [are upheld] and protected,” she added.
Due to poor or abusive working conditions, some migrant workers fail to fulfill their two-year contracts and leave their employers. The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body claims that rather than acknowledging that some MDWs work under inhumane conditions, some lawmakers have accused MDWs of “job-hopping.”
The group added that there were “many instances” where contracts would be abruptly terminated by employers without cause. The immigration department of the Hong Kong government does not demand legitimate justifications for contract termination, leaving MDWs stranded and exposed in the special administrative region.OFWs Protest
The Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong was criticized by UNIFIL-Migrante HK for their alleged silence on the subject and for failing to uphold the rights of Filipino migrant domestic workers.
Although we are aware of the customary procedures between Hong Kong and the Philippine government, UNIFIL-Migrante HK stated that Philippine Consulate General Raly Tejada should at the very least assist in elucidating the situation and express the concerns of the Filipino migrant domestic workers who are being attacked.
The consulate has been collaborating with the Hong Kong government, Tejada said in an interview with Philstar.com on Wednesday afternoon. He also noted that they have been addressing the problems through their regular technical working group.
The hotline at the consulate, he added, is always available to Filipinos who might require assistance.
Tejada stated, “I have spoken to no less than Hong Kong Minister of Labor Chris Sun on numerous occasions who assured me that the legitimate rights of our workers will be protected. “The consulate will also hold a town hall dialogue with the Filipino community “soon,” Tejada added.
Currently, Hong Kong employs about 330,000 foreign domestic workers, of whom 190,000, or over half, are Filipinos.
UNIFIL-Migrante HK announced they will join other organizations for a significant protest action on May 1 while a petition will be released on Sunday to garner more public support.
The organizations expressed their hope that more people and organizations will join them in calling on the Hong Kong government to guarantee that all migrant workers receive fair housing conditions, humane treatment, and living wages.