Migrante International lauds Hong Kong migrant domestic workers’ fight against stigmatization and discrimination

Press Statement 14 May 2021

“It is true that the COVID-19 does not discriminate as it attacks all classes of society but it is the host government that discriminates and stigmatizes the migrant workers labeling them as “high risk” carriers of the virus. This is deplorable considering these Migrant Domestic Workers have contributed so much to the Hong Kong economy,” this was stated today by Migrante International chairperson Joanna Concepcion.

The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) in Hong Kong had condemned a second round of compulsory swab test for MDWs by the HK government after 4 migrant workers turned out positive out of 340,000 who underwent testing, despite an earlier announcement of the Chief Executive to scrap mandatory vaccine policy.

COVID-19 further exposed the unjust and inhumane treatment of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who had suffered from various forms of social exclusion even before the pandemic. Even worse, in 2020 they were excluded from the Hong Kong $10,000 financial assistance to each Hong Kong resident at the height of the pandemic.

Instead of protecting the managers of the household, the Hong Kong government singled them out and required them to queue under the scorching sun to comply with the mandatory policy and depriving them of the much needed rest that they deserve. Meanwhile, many employers exploited the situation by not allowing their helpers to go out on their day off, according to her.

“We commend the strong solidarity of the migrants of all nationalities to stand up and speak out against discrimination, stigmatization and social exclusion. We call on all migrants of the world to unite in this struggle for protection from the COVID pandemic and demand responsibility from the government to ensure the dignity and safety of Migrant Domestic Workers,” Concepcion concluded. ###

Photo from Hong Kong Free Press