‘No one to help’: Sri Lankan migrant workers in Hong Kong lack support, face exploitation and abuse, NGOs say

  • Sri Lankan women make up less than 1 per cent of foreign domestic workers and don’t have strong networks, in contrast with some other groups of helpers
  • In a small community without full consular representation, Sri Lankans ‘don’t know where to get help’, NGOs say

Branches of Hope’s STOP team is thrilled to have collaborated with SCMP journalists in highlighting Gita’s story and the growing challenges faced by the Sri Lankan community of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. 

In our experience, economic hardships and limited job opportunities back home often leave Sri Lankan workers vulnerable to exploitation. They are frequently deceived or coerced into illegal employment arrangements, unpaid labor, and debt bondage. Fear of deportation, language & information barriers, combined with the absence of consular presence, further hinder their access to support.

While Gita’s case may not have resulted in the justice she deserved, it has only fueled her determination to speak up for her community, to warn others about the unscrupulous practices of unethical brokers, and to encourage those trapped in difficult employment situations to seek assistance. We are immensely proud and inspired by Gita’s strength and compassion.

Alongside Gita and all those who have experienced exploitation, Branches of Hope will continue our efforts to bring about positive change and strive for a future where all workers are treated with dignity and fairness.

遣送政策收緊半年 466聲請人覆核失敗被驅
遣送政策收緊半年 466聲請人覆核失敗被驅 – 20230730 – 港聞 – 每日明報 – 明報新聞網 (mingpao.com): Ming Pao: July 2023
調查發現近三分之二的受訪被販運者未曾向當局舉報,或沒有向官員透露他們個案與販運有關,原因是害怕被當局對他們作出檢控及遣返。
PANGYAO – A Social Platform for Hong Kong’s Migrant Worker Community: Pangyao Magazine: Feb 2023
Jimmy 來港十多年,來審核程序上兜兜轉轉,仍未等到公義到來,他已經老去。
「人們最後一次看到我,會是在(原居地)機場,但當我被捕後,我會被消失。在此之後,不會再有我的消息。」
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    After escaping exploitation, trafficked domestic workers in Hong Kong face another hurdle – legal recognition

    Research carried out by Justice Centre Hong Kong in 2016 found that 17 per cent of the migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong were in forced labour, and 14 per cent of those had been trafficked.

    After escaping exploitation, trafficked domestic workers in Hong Kong face another hurdle – legal recognition – Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (hongkongfp.com): Hong Kong Free Press: Sep 2022

    Asia’s Human Traffickers Target New Victims

    Aspate of human trafficking cases has rattled the cosmopolitan financial hub of Hong Kong. Since January, city authorities have received appeals for help from at least 43 Hongkongers kidnapped and forced to do illegal work in Southeast Asia. Of those, 23 have returned safely, while 12 others are still being held in Cambodia and three more in Myanmar.
    Asia’s Human Traffickers Target New Victims | Time: TIME: Sep 2022

    【兩邊走走|綠豆|第八集|20220826】港人墮拐賣陷阱難逃

    【兩邊走走|綠豆|第八集|20220826】港人墮拐賣陷阱難逃;高球場爭議仍未定案;英工黨借高通脹上位 – YouTube: Green Bean Media: Aug 2022
    Reports of Hong Kong people suspected of being trafficked to Southeast Asia have made headlines recently. But existing laws fail to target human trafficking or forced labour, says Patricia Ho of the Hong Kong Dignity Institute.
    Hong Kong should legislate against human trafficking, NGO and lawyer urge amid increasing number of calls for help – Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (hongkongfp.com): Hong Kong Free Press: August 2022