There are an estimated 10,000 people living in modern slavery in Hong Kong (GSI 2018). Approximately 370,000 foreign domestic workers, primarily from Indonesia and the Philippines, work in Hong Kong; some become victims of forced labour in the private homes in which they are employed. An NGO report released in 2016 estimated as many as one in six foreign domestic workers is a victim of labour exploitation. Employment agencies often charge job placement fees in excess of legal limits, and sometimes withhold identity documents, which may lead to situations of debt bondage of workers in Hong Kong. The accumulated debts sometimes amount to a significant portion of the worker’s first year salary. Some employers or employment agencies illegally withhold passports, employment contracts, or other possessions until the debt is paid. Some workers are required to work up to 17 hours per day, experience verbal, sexual or physical abuse in the home, and/or are not granted a legally required weekly day off.
SK, a 42-year-old woman trafficked from Malang, Indonesia to Hong Kong (2012- ), did not receive any of the money promised to her by her broker.
My broker promised to give me IDR 5,000,000 [US$510] if I agreed to go abroad with the recruitment agency he recommended, but I never received the money. The broker also promised that I would be at the training centre for three months, but instead I was there for 10 months.
Before I left for Hong Kong, my recruitment agency took my school diploma, family certificate, Indonesian ID card and the property certificate of our family farm.
Narrative provided by Amnesty International