Joint Statement of GABRIELA Hong Kong, United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), BAYAN Hong Kong and Macau and the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB-IMA)
嘉碧奧娜香港分會(GABRIELA Hong Kong), 菲律賓人聯合會香港分會(United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)), 菲律賓人民香港及澳門分會(BAYAN Hong Kong and Macau) 以及亞洲移居人士聯盟(Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB-IMA))
We, alliances of migrant organisations in Hong Kong, express our indignation over the article written by Mrs. Regina Ip, former Security Bureau chief and now a legislator and member of the Executive Council – on the Ming Pao newspaper that depicted Filipino women domestic workers as sexual predators preying on their male employers.
While Mrs. Ip has, since then, tried to explain that it was not her intention to do so, the damage has been done, an unfair picture of Filipino domestic workers has been pictured, and Filipinas in a relationship with expatriates or local men in Hong Kong have been stigmatised.
Intentional or not, her statements reek of racism and sexism. Such statements are so unbecoming of a public authority who should be the one leading the promotion of harmony, acceptance, respect of people especially women, and multiculturalism.
Granting that there may be cases of domestic workers falling into a relationship with their male employer, it is unfair to put the blame on the woman alone and it is derogatory to project them as merely looking for someone to support them financially.
It also deprecates the mature, consensual and loving relationships that some women domestic workers have with local males, whether they are expatriates, local Chinese, employers, or not.
We did not misunderstand Mrs. Ip. We know her views on migrant workers and her contrary position on the rights of migrants throughout the years.
But her recent statement is just too much for it insults the dignity of Filipina domestic workers as women and as a people.
We demand no less than a public apology from Mrs. Ip to the Filipino migrants and people and to the entire migrant domestic workers community.
Moreover, the Hong Kong government must seriously look at the issues of racism and sexism against migrant domestic workers and take decisive steps in promoting more positive values. Racist, sexist and discriminatory acts must be curbed and policies that set the stage for such unwanted thoughts and acts to flourish must be reformed.
Women migrant domestic workers are integral part Hong Kong’s economic, social and cultural life of Hong Kong. We deserve the respect that must be accorded to workers, women and people in Hong Kong.#
Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB)
a member of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA)
c/o APMM, No. 2 Jordan Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel no(s): (852) 3156-2447, 2314-7316
Fax no: (852) 2735-4559
Association of Sri Lankans in Hong Kong (ASL-HK)
Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong (ATKI-HK)
Far-East Overseas Nepalese Association – Hong Kong (FEONA-HK)
Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU-HKCTU)
Friends of Thai – Hong Kong (FOT-HK)
Indonesian Migrants Muslim Alliance (GAMMI)
Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union (IMWU)
League of Indonesian Migrant Workers (LiPMI)
Overseas Nepali Workers’ Union (ONWU)
Thai Regional Alliance (TRA-HK)
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
United Indonesians Against Overcharging (PILAR)