Category Archives : HK Helpers Campaign


HELPERS – Writer? Translator? Lobbyist? Volunteer for HK Helpers Campaign

HK Helpers Campaign VolunteerA message from our sister site, HK Helpers Campaign.

HK Helpers Campaign is a successful and much-needed platform fighting for the rights of domestic workers in Hong Kong. To continue our work, our multimedia advocacy and legal project needs more hands on deck.

Keeping up momentum

  • Over the past nine months, our campaign has worked with dozens of journalists and media outlets to raise awareness of the challenges domestic workers face.
  • Professional photographers and videographers have linked with us to help shape the debate and shine a more positive light on the local helper community.
  • Our campaign has been featured on CNN and in the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, the Guardian, the South China Morning Post and others.
  • Our website is a respected hub for breaking news, research and events information whilst our legal team is assembling cases to challenge the law.
  • We are now hosting support information for the community in six different languages.
  • This summer, we were officially registered as a society and began work on our Chinese website launch.
HK Helpers Campaign 2013-2014

HK Helpers Campaign 2013-2014

Volunteer appeal


PHOTOGRAPHY – Domestic Worker & Photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani

Filipino domestic worker Xyza Cruz Bacani‘s black and white street photography caught the attention of the New York Times this week. Today, she shares her work with Hong Wrong & HK Helpers Campaign.

Xyza works for an ageing Chinese-Australian woman in a wealthy part of Hong Kong.


HELPERS – Building Bans Domestic Helper Residents From Their Own Clubhouse 6

A residential building in Yau Ma Tei has attempted to ban domestic worker residents from its clubhouse as their presence may ‘induce nuisance’ and affect the rights of other residents on Sundays. The sign, addressed to employers, was posted by management company Hong Yip Service Company (owned by scandal-ridden Sun Hung Kai Properties) at their ‘No.8 The Waterloo‘ development. It told residents not to allow their helpers to use access cards during their holidays. However, domestic workers are themselves residents and – by law – have no choice but to live with their employers in the building.

Hung Yip Service Company

Hong Yip Service Company notice – click for full blingual version.

News of the policy emerged after a local resident complained to a local NGO. Asking to remain anonymous, he said “To categorise a group of people as a ‘nuisance’ based on their occupation is absolutely disgusting… What is the difference between a crowd of domestic helpers and a crowd of people who are not?” Although he said understood that having groups of visitors in the clubhouse may be undesirable, he noted that helpers have little place to go on their day off owing to their meagre salaries.


HELPERS – Gov’t Libraries Ignoring Hong Kong’s Biggest Minorities

HK Helpers Campaign320,000 Indonesians and Filipinos live in Hong Kong, the city’s biggest minorities. Yet a HK Helpers Campaign investigation found that they have only 60 books available to share in their respective languages across the entire library system. The Op-ed below responds to an SCMP story and reports on efforts by domestic workers to set up their own libraries. Support the campaign and their 3 simple, winnable campaign points.

A South China Morning Post article last week reported Hong Kong people are falling out of love with city libraries. The rampant usage of smartphones was cited for the decline in book rentals. Library officials lamented the decreasing figures and commentators criticised the cities reading culture, which has been ‘in decline for years’. On the other hand, domestic workers have been busy setting up unofficial mobile libraries across the city because the Hong Kong libraries don’t cater for their needs.

libraries ignore minorities

Since 2009, the department has expanded its library collection from 12.5 million books and multimedia materials to 13.1 million. Yet, the number of books rented fell 6.2 million over the past five years, from 61.7 million in 2009 to 55.5 million last year. A spokesperson for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the public libraries told the SCMP that “professional judgement was exercised in the acquisition of books to meet the different needs of various groups, including ethnic minorities”, and the collections remained “highly popular among readers”.


HELPERS – Another Helper Escapes 9 Months of Physical & Verbal Abuse 3

A 37-year-old Filipino helper, widow and mother of two, has escaped after a nine-month ordeal at the hands of an abusive employer.

Rowena Uychiat sits with Activists

Eman Villanueva of the Justice for Erwiana Committe, Rowena Uychiat & Cynthia Abdon-Tellez of Mission for Migrant Workers this morning.

Throughout her employment, Rowena Uychiat was allegedly forced to work 21 hours a day (6am till 3am) without a day off. She claims to have been slapped, kicked, verbally abused and had her hair pulled. Rowena says her passport and HKID were illegally confiscated and that she was overcharged by her Filipino recruitment agency, having been made to pay the equivalent of HK$8,770.


HELPERS – Police & Indonesian Consulate Detain Erwiana Upon Return to HK 16

Update: “Shocking” Actions by HK Authorities a “Conflict of Interests” says Lawyer.

Erwiana, the Indonesian helper who was allegedly tortured for 8-months by her Hong Kong employer, has been taken against her wishes to the Indonesian consulate after returning to the city this afternoon. Erwiana is visiting Hong Kong for a medical report related to her case. Last week, she accepted an offer of secure accommodation from the NGOs who have been assisting her. She initially resisted police efforts to take her to the consulate but was separated from her father and complied with the Hong Kong authorities after they threatened to deport her.

Eman at Hong Kong Airport

Eman and Sringatin from the Justice Committee speaks to journalists, via SCMP’s @JoannaChiu on Twitter

There were tense scenes and a heavy police presence as Justice for Erwiana Committee members gathered to greet her at the airport chanting “shame on the Indonesian authorities“. As a free, Indonesian citizen, who is not under investigation, Erwiana would normally be entitled to visit the city as a tourist for 30 days.

Activists, reporters and police gathered in Causeway Bay at the Indonesian consulate, where Erwiana arrived just before 6pm.