Migrant Domestic Workers Remain Overworked, Plagued by Labour Problems [Mission For Migrant Workers releases its 2018 Service Report]

Media, News, Press Release 11 Apr 2019
Migrant Domestic Workers Remain Overworked, Plagued by Labour Problems [Mission For Migrant Workers releases its 2018 Service Report]

11 April 2019

The Mission For Migrant Workers, a leading and trusted service provider and partner of Asian migrants, revealed that 99% of its service users reported to working 11 hours or more every day. This was one of the findings contained in the Service Report for the year 2018, released today.

According to Cynthia Abdon, general manager of the Mission, this goes to show that much work still has to be done. “While it is alarming that there is a 9% increase in those who report that they work more than 16 hours a day, 8% increase in those who report that they have labour issues, let us not be disheartened. This only proves that we have much work to do.”

“On the other hand,” Abdon countered, “there is certainly hope evident in the results. There is a 20% decrease in those who report that they do not have their own private room. While the process of making the Hong Kong accommodation policy respectful of migrant domestic workers rights seems slow, we can at least see that at the household level, there are changes. This we can see, since the launching of the Mission’s Pictures from the Inside research two years ago. We hope that our social advocacy is helping to establish better mutual understanding, and recognition of domestic workers rights and needs among well-meaning households.”

Abdon did caution against declaring that the welfare of MDWs are improving. “I cannot impress enough the weight of our other findings. MDWs still suffer from insufficient food (+2%). Those who reported having no regular days off increased by 7%. The rate remains the same for those who do not enjoy statutory holidays (12%). Those who reported their agencies kept their documents from them increased by 8%.”

Abdon also pointed out that there is an increase on the bad treatment of MDWs. “There is a 7% increase for those who reported they are treated badly by their employers. Those who report that they have been physically assaulted by their employers have doubled compared to 2017 (from 5% to 10%).”

“All this shows how just the workers’ demands for working hours regulation, wages, and workers’ rights. The data also shows how urgent these demands are. We hope that in the near future, more meaningful and long-lasting changes will be enacted that will lead to MDWs treated fairly. If the other positive results are an indication, then we have hope,” Abdon concluded.

Cynthia Abdon-Tellez
General Manager

Johannie Tong
Community Relations Officer

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