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Migrant Worker Lives Matter Symposium


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  • Date

    24 May 2024

  • Organiser

    The Department of English and Communication

  • Time

    14:00 - 18:15

  • Venue

    N002, Lim Por Yen Lecture Theatre 2, G/F, Block N, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University  


Hong Kong has around 340,000 migrant domestic workers (MDWs). With their contribution to Hong Kong’s GDP estimated at 3.6%, they are doing valuable work for the city. Because of the increase in the number of elderly people needing care in the coming decades, the government forecasts an increase to 600,000 MDWs in 2047 to accommodate the higher demand for care work. In light of these growing numbers, it is important to consider how we can foster positive conditions for both MDWs and their employers.

Being a domestic worker in a foreign country away from your family for years on end is difficult. And being an employer of a domestic worker, who is a permanent guest in your home, is also challenging. Patience and tolerance are required from both workers and employers.

Migrant worker laws in Hong Kong are better than in many other places but the problem is that the law is not always being enforced. Some MDWs are still being paid below the minimum wage, many remain in debt to employment agencies long after assuming their position, some do not have suitable accommodation, and some are without access to their mobile phones or identity papers.

This half-day symposium will address some of the structural issues facing migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Hong Kong. Three interrelated themes will be addressed through short talks from academics, policy makers, migrant worker NGOs, domestic workers, and their employers: (1) Domestic work as a caring profession; (2) Migrant worker health issues; and (3) Migrant domestic worker employer-employee relationships.

Important questions we aim to address include: How do we make Hong Kong a more inclusive society? How can we better embrace the diversity MDWs bring to the city? How can we better prepare employers and domestic workers for the close relationship they will need to develop? How do we ensure MDWs have access to healthcare? How can we help both workers and employers know more about MDWs’ rights? How can we help develop more harmonious relationships between MDWs and employers?

Click HERE to download the programme flyer.

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