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Migrants call for Law’s apology as they claim victory over forced jab recall

06 May 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Hundreds of FDWs were exposed to the elements while getting themselves tested

A migrant support group is claiming victory over the government’s decision to back down from a plan to require all foreign domestic helpers applying for a work visa in Hong Kong to get vaccinated.

The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body also said in a press conference held Wednesday that Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong should apologize for saying FDHs who don’t want to comply with the order should work elsewhere.


The group vowed to continue opposing mandatory test and vaccination for migrant workers, saying the “discriminatory” moves could be restored by the government anytime. 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said before an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday that requiring FDHs applying for work visas in Hong Kong to get vaccinated first was just a plan that was still being studied 

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She said consulates of countries that send migrant workers to Hong Kong would be consulted first on the likely impact of enforcing such an order. 

“While we welcome the chief executive’s decision, we continue to call for the scrapping of any mandatory vaccination policy that singles out foreign domestic workers,” said Dolores Balladares, a spokesperson for the AMCB.

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She urged the government to also hold consultations with migrant domestic workers’ organizations, unions and NGOs as the policy impacts their bodies, health and work.

Balladares also wants the forced testing of MDWs halted

Balladares called for a halt to the ongoing mandatory testing of MDWs, which she said exposes the workers to health risks as they stand close together under the sun and  rain for hours waiting to get tested.


“The Hong Kong government must stop implementing policies of discrimination and social exclusion in their pandemic response. Instead, we hope that they learned from the united response of the migrant domestic workers and the local community against the discriminatory policy,” she said.

Johannie Tong, community relations officer of the Mission for Migrant Workers, said the mandatory testing of MDWs from May 1 to 9 has caused a lot of burden and trouble for the migrant workers and the employers.

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“Since we know that all lines of community testing are mostly full, some of them waited for five hours and some of them queued up at 4am. Such requirement for migrant domestic workers also increased unnecessary conflict and tension between the (MDWs) and their employers,” Tong said.

Tong urged the government to revoke the mandatory testing notice and set the migrant workers free from the threat of fines and penalties.

“As well, we welcome the announcement of Chief Executive Carrie Lam yesterday to rethink the policy of making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for their future visa application,” Tong said.

She also said she hoped the Hong Kong government will treat migrant domestic workers as equals and not impose policies that are unfair and discriminatory.

Fielding a media question, Balladares said the government has not involved migrant organizations in the consultations, while they are the ones targeted by the mandatory test and vaccination.

Sringatin, who is also an AMCB spokesperson, said some migrant workers fell sick after the first two days of the mandatory testing because they had to stand in line outside testing centers for hours where they were exposed to the elements.

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