Hong Kong court denies domestic workers residency

| 25/03/2013

(BBC): Hong Kong's top court has ruled that domestic workers are not eligible to apply for permanent residency, ending a two-year battle that has split opinion. The case had centred on Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a maid from the Philippines who has worked in Hong Kong for more than 17 years. Domestic workers had argued that denying them permanent residency was unconstitutional. The ruling has implications for Hong Kong's 300,000 domestic workers. These workers come mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia, often spending years in the territory.

"The FDH [foreign domestic helper] is obliged to return to the country of origin at the end of the contract and is told from the outset that admission is not for the purposes of settlement and that dependants cannot be brought to reside in Hong Kong," the Court of Final Appeal said in a written judgement.

Ms Vallejos was "speechless but calmly resigned", her lawyer, Mark Daly said. "While we respect the judgment we disagree with it,'' he said. "[The ruling is] not a good reflection of the values we should be teaching youngsters and people in our society.''
The issue of right of abode is a sensitive subject in Hong Kong, with campaigners arguing that not allowing foreign domestic workers to settle in Hong Kong amounts to discrimination.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Send them to the Cayman Islands!!!!!!!