文：亞洲移住人士聯盟 asian migrants coordinating body (amcb-ima)
August 9 (Sunday), Hong Kong police rounded-up the Central in Hong Kong, Tsueng Kwan O and other places where foreign domestic workers spend their day-off. They fined uncertain numbers of foreign domestic workers for violating Cap 599 (g), which prohibit no more than 2 people to gather together in public. Such actions of the police connote discrimination fanning unfounded accusation that foreign domestic workers are virus spreader.
Since the very start of the pandemic crisis the more than 350,000 of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong is not in the agenda of Hong Kong government for service and protection. Worse, the Hong Kong government eyed the thousands of foreign domestic workers as mere threat that can worsen the effect of pandemic to the community.
Based on our experience and of our observation foreign domestic workers generally follow the Hong Kong government’s guidelines on public gathering, social distancing and wearing of face masks. Though we do not discount that there are few who disobey as much as some local people and non-domestic workers do. This despite the absence of suitable spaces for foreign domestic workers to spend their day-offs. Every Sunday and other public holidays thousands of foreign domestic workers found no choice but to take their rest days in foot bridges, under the bridges, road pavement, MTR stations and other open spaces while maintaining the social distancing and other preventive measures imposed by the Hong Kong government.
Hong Kong police ordering on Sunday the foreign domestic workers to go home at 5pm to vacate their place of stay is not only violative of our rights but also discriminatory, singling out the FDWs. Hong Kong police should know that FDWs are given with 24 hours rest day and if FDWs went home early they will be obliged to work. HK police should further understand that based on the report it is the employers who infected the foreign domestic workers of COVID19 virus and not the other way around.
Thus, we call on the Hong Kong government that instead of singling out the foreign domestic workers and fanning unfounded accusations that FDWs are stubborn and virus spreader. The Hong Kong government should include FDWs in the provision of support, assistance and economic relief that includes safe haven while they are waiting for visa and facing cases. Ensure that FDWs will exercise and safely spend their right to day-off and not put in further vulnerability.
The Hong Kong government should further improve its policies that include foreign domestic workers in their national agenda of addressing the impact of pandemic crisis to Hong Kong society. Only if the rights and welfare of foreign domestic workers are upheld, their safety and protection are ensured the household that they are serving will surely be safe and protected. ####
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