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Women’s Day protest denounces ‘slave-like’ condition of domestic workers in HK

08 March 2018

Women workers march to Immigration offices
(photo by Aaron Ceradoy)

Dozens of protesters marked International Women’s Day today, Mar. 8, by marching to the HK Immigration offices in Wanchai to protest policies they claim keep migrant workers working like slaves in the city.

The protesters said these policies included the ban on their alleged “job-hopping”, the mandatory live-in arrangement, and the two-week rule that mandates migrant workers to leave Hong Kong within two weeks after they lost their jobs. 
Highlighting some of their concerns
(Photo by Aaron Ceradoy)

"We too are women workers with rights and yet, many HK policies bind us to conditions that practically make us slaves,” said a statement issued by the protest organizers, Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB-IMA HK).

The group said the limitations on their stay have led to abuses, some of them extreme, as in the case of Indonesian domestic worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih.

"We are women workers bound by to slave treatment set and perpetuated by policies of Hong Kong on domestic workers to purposely keep our work cheap and undervalued, and our rights curtailed,” said AMCB spokesperson Sringatin.

Such exploitation, she said, capitalizes on the prevailing poverty and unemployment in the workers’ home countries that forced them to leave home and endure harsh living and working conditions.

Sunday's protest was against Phil govt policies
(photo from Gabriela HK)
On Sunday, militant protesters led by Gabriela Hong Kong assailed what they called the anti-women and anti-poor policies of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

The protesters said women should now arise and speak out, since Duterte has cast aspersion on their dignity, and has used them to lure tourists into the country.

They cited in particular his “joke” about soldiers being allowed to rape up to three women each, or to shoot women members of the National People’s Army in their genitals to render them inutile.

The protesters also condemned Duterte’s move to amend the Constitution so he could allegedly perpetuate himself in power, and his new taxation scheme that has jacked up prices of prime commodities. 

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