We asked several foreign domestic workers why they left their home country to work in another city (a city which often treats them a second-class citizens)…
Each portrait carries an optimistic, positive message. It is a reminder that everyone shares similar motivations and hopes for the future – no matter where they stand in Hong Kong society…
The photo set is based on the WYDYWYD.com (Why Do You Do What You Do?) project – a global social media meme.
Many members our competitive city’s middle class are so over-worked that they hire helpers to help support their families, often in their absence. In turn, helpers themselves are are working every day to support their own families, despite also being absent.
Each helper who took part was free to write anything they wished…
The helpers in this final shot are sisters…
Domestic workers are not entitled to the minimum hourly wage in HK and cannot obtain permanent residency, no matter how many decades some have resided in the city. Maids receive a meagre HK$3,920 per month, are legally obliged to ‘live in’ (a rule which is counter to international standards) and must leave the territory in order to begin new contracts with new employers. Those who find themselves out of work must find a new employer within a fortnight or risk deportation – a rule condemned by the UN. More than half are abused in some manner and many are heavily indebted to their placement agencies, who charge exorbitant fees, contrary to international guidelines.
Today’s exclusive feature forms part of a series leading to the launch of a separate ‘HK Helpers Campaign’ – a coalition of NGOs and activists united to spark debate and effect change for Foreign Domestic Helpers. If you are a fellow blogger or media organisation, our coverage/photos are available for re-syndication free-of-charge, please get in touch.
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