Statement of Hong Kong Organizations and Individuals to Request an End to Ban on Workers Living Outside Employers’ Homes

TVB recently reported that Immigration raided the village of Nim Shue Wan in Discovery Bay, checking the documents of the domestic workers living there and arresting six Filipina domestic workers. (1)

We strongly believe that banning live-out helps no one in Hong Kong at all. Migrant domestic worker organizations such as Mission for Migrant Workers have given strong evidence that the live-in rule contributes to regular, systematic abuses faced by workers each year.

Furthermore, arresting workers who do live out is deeply unjust and cruel. The employers who allow them to live out are giving them the chance to live like adults with their own private space and time, as well as preserving private family time for the employer, and the government should enable this to be a legal option as much as possible instead of threatening and punishing them.

It is widely known that employers choose migrant domestic workers because they can do full-time work for a fixed monthly wage, not because they are live-in.

The migrant domestic workers are an important and valuable part of our society and it is a deep shame to Hong Kong as an international city at this time to continue making it a crime to let workers live apart from their employers.

Therefore we strongly request to the Hong Kong government:

1) In order to ensure that the rights of the workers arrested are protected we wish to be informed whether anyone is assisting them or providing them legal advice. If no one is assisting them, they should be allowed to contact us or any of the organisations that provide assistance to domestic workers.

Those whose only violation is living outside the home of their employers should be allowed to continue working and their employers must be required to provide them suitable accommodation as stipulated in their employment contract.

2) The policy of banning live out must be reversed, and the option of live-out with employer paying for housing must be allowed right away. This will be a start in enhancing the domestic workers’ privacy, their self-education, their intermingling in society, and their rest and satisfaction with work and life in Hong Kong. This would be a small but necessary start in implementing improved women worker safety, gender equality and dignified work for migrant women workers in Hong Kong.

3) Take concrete measures to ensure that live-in migrant workers are given proper accommodation – beginning with a clearer definition of ‘proper’ accommodation and means of enforcement.


The Undersigned 聯署團體及個人


Federation of Asian Domestic Worker Unions 香港亞洲家務工工會聯會

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions 香港職工會聯盟

Fish Ip, International Domestic Workers’ Network

Association for the Advancement of Feminism 新婦女協進會

Meilin Wu, Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association 香港婦女勞工協會

Yuen Che Hung, No Hurry Story Workshop雄仔叔叔, No Hurry Story工作坊

Left 21 左翼21

Danilo Reyes, Employer

Open Door 家·傭同行

Half The Sky Public Education. 半邊天公益

Rev. Phyllis Wong, Kowloon Union Church 佑寧堂

Justice and Peace Commission of the HK Catholic Diocese 香港天主教正義和平委員會

autonomous 8a 自治八樓

Father Mark Rogers, St. John’s Cathedral

Father Franco Mella, PIME

Rev. Danilo A. Borlado and Mary Lou S. Borlado, New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, Hong Kong

Elijah Fung, St. John’s HIV Education Centre

Pastor Edgar Robles, Jesus is Lord- Hong Kong

Holly Allan, Helpers for Domestic Helpers, St. John’s Cathedral

Crystal Ching Chow, Youth Ambassador 2012-2013, Asia Pacific Youth Network

Jason Y. Ng, Author and columnist

Carol Chow Pui Ha, CUHK

Ramon Bultron, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants

Gifliyani Krisna Nayoan – World Student Christian Federation AP

Sunita Suna – World Student Christian Federation AP

Sister Felicitas Nisperos

Lisa Moore, The Women’s Foundation

Adrielle Panares, Chairperson, Coalition of Service Providers for Ethnic Minorities;

Director of Migrant Programme, International Social Service Hong Kong Branch

Edwina Antonio, Bethune House Migrant Worker Refuge

Cynthia CA Tellez, Mission for Migrant Workers Limited

Asian Migrant Coordinating Body

If you agree with the above statement please co-sign by sending your organization name, contact name and tel. number/email to Doris Lee,, t: 9862-1736.


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