HK fully committed to protecting foreign domestic helpers’ rights: official

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung has said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government attaches great importance to protecting the rights of the 347,000 foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong.

According to an article released on his blog Thursday, Cheung said it is the SAR government’s commitment to maintain Hong Kong as a safe and ideal place for FDHs to work in.

He made the above points to the visiting Philippine Secretary of Labor and Employment, Silvestre H. Bello III, when he hosted a welcome dinner for him and his delegation last week to exchange views on matters of mutual interest.

“I am glad that Secretary Bello expressed confidence that our proposed Code of Practice for employment agencies, now being finalized by our Labor Department, will effectively deter malpractices and promote the professionalism and standards of employment agencies, including those offering placement service of FDHs,” Cheung said, stressing that Hong Kong will not tolerate any abuse or exploitation.

At the meeting with Bello, Cheung also expressed his gratitude for the sterling contribution made by some 187,000 Filipino domestic helpers who have helped release many local women in families with children or elderly to join the local labor force.

In response, Bello thanked the SAR government for its fair treatment of FDHs and confirmed that Hong Kong has remained one of the most popular work destinations of Filipino domestic workers, as evidenced by the increasing number of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong over the years, Cheung said.

This positive feedback is most encouraging and recognizes Hong Kong’s unceasing efforts in protecting FDHs and enhancing their well-being, he added.

Cheung noted some 347,000 FDHs in Hong Kong amounted to about one-tenth of Hong Kong’s labor force. “We treasure very much their contribution to Hong Kong’s economic growth through unleashing the potential of our female workforce. I look forward to deepening our collaboration in protecting the rights and interests of both FDHs and their employers,” he said. PNA/

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