Immigration to probe cases of Filipino helpers taken to China

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Immigration Tower in Wan Chai

THE Hong Kong Immigration Department has committed to investigate complaints against employers who bring their Filipino helpers out of Hong Kong and forcing them to work.

Officials of the Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office requested the HKID to comment “on the practice of some employers who regularly bring their helpers abroad in the guise joining them for vacation but actually force the FDHs to work.”

“HKID committed to conduct an investigation to verify if ‘False Representation’ is committed at the time of application for the FDHs’ visa,” a consulate report submitted to the Philippine Foreign Secretary said.

The report about the Technical Working Group meeting between Hong Kong and Philippine officials held in April was sent to the DFA office in Manila on May 16.

Philippine officials also raised the concern about Filipino domestic helpers traveling to China, and meeting an accident there, but had no medical insurance.

“The HKID…encouraged FDHs to make a report for proper investigation. HKID added that the FDHs can refuse their employer citing prohibitions under Hong Kong law,” the report said.

The Labour Department, meanwhile, also informed Philippine officials about an information kiosk that it will set up in Central on Jul. 9 and Aug. 27 to raise the awareness of foreign domestic helpers on their rights and responsibilities as workers.

The information kiosk may also be set up again in November and December, Hong Kong officials said.

Philippine officials suggested the kiosk be put up during Filipino community events to reach a wider audience.

Other publicity efforts of the LD include the creation of publicity materials on securing FDH visa.

“LD plans to provide leaflets and include such guidelines in its online portal,” added the PCG report.

The LD has also assured foreign domestic helpers that they need not return to their home country if they could provide evidence of being abused and exploited.

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