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.
ZR, a 27-year-old woman trafficked from Surabaya to Hong Kong (2011- ), was raped by her employer.
The husband always tried to touch me but I stopped him. One day, he returned home early when his daughter was sleeping and his son was at school. I was washing the dishes when he grabbed me and pushed me to the floor. He dragged me to the bedroom and raped me. I ran away that evening when everyone was busy. I asked an Indonesian domestic worker friend for help and she gave me the number of a helpline. After I called, I went to their office in Yaumatei [an area of Kowloon, Hong Kong] with my friend. Then together with the staff, we went first to the police station to file a complaint, then to the hospital and back to the police station.
Narrative provided by Amnesty International