Response to The Hong Kong Labour Department’s (LD) advisory urging foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to just stay at home during rest days by a Migrant Domestic Worker, Mr. Eman Villanueva, Chairperson of Bayan HKM
一位菲籍移民家務工，Mr. Eman Villanueva, Chairperson of Bayan HKM，回應勞工署建議不同種族移民家務工（移工）假期期間只留在僱主家中的呼籲
The Hong Kong Labour Department’s (LD) advisory urging foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to just stay at home during rest days is irresponsible, unfair, unjust and discriminatory.
就勞工處呼籲外籍家務工 (foreign domestic workers, FDWs) 假期期間只留在家裡的建議，是不負責任、不公平、不公正和帶有歧視性的。
It is irresponsible as it may be misinterpreted by some employers as a blanket policy and may result to widespread violation of FDWs’ right to weekly rest day and statutory holidays.
It unfairly and maliciously insinuate that FDWs’ communities are particularly prone to spreading the virus. In fact, the only incident involving an FDW is a Filipino who had a direct contact with two nCoV carriers who happen to be her employer’s relatives. This incident happened INSIDE their household, not outside.
It is unjust to even suggest that FDWs sacrifice, or be denied of, their only rest day after six days of heavy work, in most cases working 12-16 hours of a day, based only on prejudice and malicious assumptions that FDWs are incapable of necessary hygienic and healthy lifestyle.
Unless ALL people in Hong Kong are instructed to do so, singling out FDWs to stay at home during their rest day while other members of the household can freely leave is meaningless and is blatantly discriminatory.
Instead of promoting steps that will violate our rights, we call on the LD and the HKSAR government to ensure that FDWs are accorded with the same level of protection with the rest of the population. Remind employers to provide their domestic workers with free protective materials such as face masks, vitamin C, alcohol-based sanitizing gel or spray. Ensure that their FDWs get sufficient rest and nutritious food so they wont get sick. Ensure that advisories and public information regarding 2019-nCoV are made available in different languages for the benefit of everyone including ethnic minority communities.