Tag Archives : HK Helpers Campaign


HELPERS – Regina Ip Deletes Column Condemning Sexual Behaviour of Filipino Helpers 10

Translations courtesy of Ellie Ng.

Pro-Beijing politician Regina Ip has removed a controversial column from her blog and Facebook related to the sex lives of domestic workers. In the piece, also printed in Ming Pao, she decried the international media for “exaggerating” the Erwiana abuse case and made reference to the recent suicide of a teenager.

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HELPERS – HK Domestic Worker To Conquer Everest Base Camp This April 2

Via HK Helpers Campaign

Discovery Bay domestic worker Liza Avelino will pack her specialist climbing gear next month as she heads to Nepal for a 22-day Himalayan trekking expedition up to Everest Base Camp. Liza will be raising funds for local NGO Enrich.

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HELPERS: A Break Through? Judge in Erwiana Case Calls for Review of Live-in Rule

Via Meredith McBride of HK Helpers Campaign

Friday morning Law Wan-tung, the 44-year-old housewife who was found guilty of abusing Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and Tutik Lestari Ningsih, was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Speaking in the Wan Chai District Court early Friday, the Honourable Judge Amanda Woodcock made ground-breaking statements slamming the live-in rule and collection of illegal agency fees as having facilitated Erwiana’s abuse.

Judge Amanda Woodcock on the 'live in rule'

Judge Amanda Woodcock on the ‘live in rule’

 

“In my view, such conduct could be prevented if domestic workers were not forced to live in their employers’ homes,” Judge Woodcock said. “The choice would make all the difference.”


HELPERS – Justice for Erwiana: Former Employer Guilty on 18 Charges

The packed court room broke into applause after Judge Amanda Woodcock convicted Hong Kong woman Law-Wan-tung on 18 charges for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, assault and criminal intimidation of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and Tutik Lestari Ningsih.

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“I am sure she (Erwiana) was telling the truth,” said Judge Woodcock as she read her findings the room full of journalists, activists, and friends. “I believe her testimony in its entirety,” citing credibility as a crucial issue in her findings.

“When she left Hong Kong, she was a shadow of her former self,” said Judge Woodcock, citing Erwiana’s sunken eyes, swollen eyes and faces and wounds. Some of Erwiana’s injuries were caused by prolonged exposure to water and cleaning solutions, however over a dozen other injuries were not accounted for by this explanation. The attempt by the defence to pass Erwiana’s skin problems off as acne were “desperate and fanciful constructions,” said Woodcock.


HELPERS – The ‘Live-In’ Rule Hurts Helpers & Employers: It’s Time to Scrap It

By Meredith McBride of HK Helpers Campaign.

Last week, 20 immigration officers visited Ma Wan village on Park Island to arrest four domestic workers, whose crime was living under a different roof than their employers.

Two employers of one of the women were also arrested and later released on bail. The male employer told the South China Morning Post: “Some employers that have a live-in nanny make them work up to 18 hours a day and some I know don’t even get a day off.”

An immigration officer reported that the four women were arrested on suspicion of making false representations to an immigration officer. Under clause three of the standard employment contract, both parties agree that the domestic worker will live at the same premises as the employer.

According to the Hong Kong Labour Department, infringing clause three is akin to making a false representation to an immigration officer, and carries a maximum punishment of $150,000 in fines and 14 years in prison. Domestic workers accused of the same could be black-listed and deported. By contrast, in the recent trial against a local Hong Kong employer for grievous bodily harm with intent, the accused faces a maximum jail time of seven years if found guilty.


NEWS – In Torture Trial, Defence Suggests Helper’s Injuries Were Caused By Acne

From Meredith McBride of the HK Helpers Campaign. For more of day one of the trial, click here.

The second day of the trial against Law Wan-tung continued on Tuesday with Erwiana Sulistyaningsih returning to the witness stand. Law – who is accused of torturing her helper Erwiana, faces 20 charges – including actual bodily harm with intent and criminal intimidation.

Erwiana shared further details with the court about her life in the home of Law Wan-tung. She told the court that she was punched in the mouth, causing her teeth to break, and was sometimes hit in her sleep. She also shared details about an incident in which she alleges Law stripped her naked, sprayed her with cold water from the shower and switched on a fan for several hours.


HELPERS – “I Was Tortured”: Erwiana Testifies Against Former Employer

Via HK Helpers Campaign & Meredith McBride

On the first day of the trial of her former employer Law Wan-tung, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih testified to a full court room that her employer repeatedly beat her with hangers, mops, ladders, and rulers.

The court room let out a collective gasp when Erwiana explained that she was only allowed to sleep for four hours in the afternoon, and was required to work throughout the night. Erwiana said she once fell asleep from exhaustion while vacuuming and was woken by her employer, who forced a vacuum cleaner tube into her mouth and twisted it while it was still running.

“I was tortured,” said Erwiana through a translator.


HELPERS – Domestic Workers Share Their Thoughts on Occupy Central

A cross-post from our sister site, HK Helpers Campaign.

HK Helpers Campaign volunteers Meredith McBride & Vivian Yan spoke to some of the city’s domestic worker community about the Umbrella Movement occupation protests.

Catherine, from the Philippines, has been living in Hong Kong for 3 years.

“The protesters want this fight and are against China. Maybe they can help us to make… law[s] in favour of the domestic workers? Maybe for me, I am in favour of the protesters because they really fight for their rights, for their democracy.  They make a lot of sacrifices so I hope they win.”