Hong Kong, Foreign domestic helpers


In Hong Kong, with a population of a little more than 7 million, live almost 300,000 foreign domestic workers. Most of them are female and are either Filipino (48%) or Indonesian (49.4%) *. They run the household of their employers and take care of the children. They usually live in the house of their employers. The current minimum wage for their work is 3,740 HKD (Hong Kong dollars) per month (480 USD, 365 EUR, 3,050 RMB) *.


By law they are entitled to have one day off every week and on Sundays you see many Filipino and Indonesian women gathering on the street, in parks or at one of the numerous places where they can prepare cargo for shipping to their families at home.


* Source: Wikipedia



Left: spending time with friends on a square chatting and with a massage. Right: gathering of Muslim women in Victoria park.



On the third photo from the left two women are packing a large box for shipment to the Philippines. The cost of the shipment is 680 HKD and the shipment will arrive at their family after 2 or 3 weeks.

Other prices: 24″ x 14″ x 14″: from 200 HKD for Manilla to 270 for Mindanao; 24″ x 24″ x 30″: from 499 HKD for Manilla to 580 HKD for Mindanao (1″ = 2.54 cm).


The 2nd and last photo from the left show ads from an agency offering the services of domestic helpers. The information provided includes:

Personal details: Name, Date of Birth, Religion, Marital status, Weight, Height, Address.
Family background: Father’s name, Occupation of father (in the ads I saw, all of them where farmer), Mother’s name, Number of brothers, Number of sisters, Name of spouse, Occupation of spouse (most of them were farmer), Number of children, Ages of children.
Then there is a table detailing the work experience in working with children, elderly, disabled, etc.
In these two examples the remarks field is used to mention previous work experience in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia respectively.



The area around the agencies sending the shipments is at the same time a place to meet and socialize.



In front of, and (photo on the right) inside, one of the many warehouses for shipments to the Philippines and Indonesia.



One Response to “Hong Kong, Foreign domestic helpers”

  1. There are lots of maids in HK indeed!

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