Some workers are lucky to get jobs near their homes, while others have to leave their families to work. In Hong Kong, more than 5% of the total population are migrant domestic workers. A large proportion of the population are women who are sometimes subject to unfair rights, illegal contract termination, exploitation, abuse and more. To top that, the immigration policies for domestic workers in Hong Kong are pretty uptight. Hiring the services of a private lawyer to fight for an issue, is not feasible by most of the domestic workers. Some great NGOs and charities are luckily supporting them and offering a chance to improve their daily life.
Whether a worker is in distress, fired for unjustified reasons, pregnant or need a home, some organizations are there for them regardless of the nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For any domestic helper, it is imperative to learn about the rights (workers’ rights, women's rights, labor rights) and know how to make efficient use of financial tools to calculate your budget. Through efficient training, educational programs, empowerment sessions, and human rights lessons, the lives of migrant domestic workers can improve. The following charities and NGOs are offering their support to resolve domestic worker issues.
PathFinders is an independent human rights and humanitarian services organization which is non-partisan and secular. It was established in the year 2008 and enjoys a highly reputable and respectable charitable position in Hong Kong. PathFinders has been involved in several kinds of humanitarian work like providing help and support to migrant women, children and babies. PathFinders endeavors to save children from trafficking, neglect and wrongdoings. Their efforts are also directed towards protecting women and migrant mothers. The transparent working way of PathFinders makes it one of the most distinguished organizations in Hong Kong. Foreign domestic workers, pregnant women and migrant women can find health care, support, and justice under the care of PathFinders. If you are a domestic worker whose employment has been terminated due to unlawful reasons, you can surely seek for justice and immediate help in PathFinders. Its doors are always open to vulnerable women and children.
Founded by a finance professional and a group of development workers, Enrich was incepted in the year 2007. It is a sustainable organization that aims to provide a rock solid support to migrant domestic workers who are based in Hong Kong. About 380,000 migrant domestic workers are present in Hong Kong. Most of them lack financial literacy, professional training and budgeting skills. Therefore, Enrich offers financial counseling services, training, and solutions to financial issues to domestic workers. Enrich endeavors to provide economic empowerment to migrant domestic helpers. By educating them about their rights, financial tools, efficient budget plans, domestic workers can now take informed decisions regarding their financial security. This independent organization imparts empowerment and financial education through an interactive and a collaborative style.
One of the oldest establishments for helping domestic workers, HELP for Domestic Workers was found in the year 1989 by a group of lawyers. This organization offers free and legal counseling, training and education to domestic workers. It focuses on issues related to human rights, employee rights, and immigration. After its inception, the founders of HELP for Domestic Workers used to provide free counselling practices and advices to domestic workers since they were barely able to afford private lawyers. Bringing equality of rights to the lives of foreign domestic workers is a part of their mission. Fair treatment and justice is what it stands for. To summarize, HELP for Domestic Workers is an organization which offers legals protection and empowerment to foreign domestic workers.
Hong Kong Women Workers Association is a non-profit group which was formed in the year 1989. It is an old establishment that work towards bringing equality to women through fair and just labor rights. It encourages education about empowerment, women rights, rights for foreign domestic women workers and women labor in general. This organization is one of the best NGOs in Hong Kong. They promote self-awareness and strives to bring improvement in the lives of women. It also works on creating social awareness about women labor and domestic helper issues. There are many women in Hong Kong who are subject to domestic labor but remain unpaid. This organization helps such women by providing them education about their rights and supports them in their fight.
OpenDoor, as the name suggests, is an organization that works on improving the lives of foreign domestic workers. It provides support, care and comfort to domestic workers in various ways. Open Door provides education to the domestic helpers so that they can lead a better life, take better decisions and learn about their rights. It aims to increase the literacy rate of foreign domestic workers by providing education programs. Many other activities like cultural activities also take place in this establishment. It aims to achieve improvement in the living conditions and work life of domestic workers. Through the educational programs, Open Door also improves the mutual understanding between an employer and the domestic helper. This results in better working conditions and enhances protection. Therefore, for any workers in distress and need help, Open Door will always welcome them.
Do not tolerate unfavorable work conditions and find the right balance to live in harmony with domestic helpers are a key for a better life. Hope you are more aware and will spread the words about the beneficial programs offered by the charities and NGOs listed above.