MANILA, August 8, 2011—The Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB) pressed the Hong Kong (HK) government to recognize the foreign domestic workers'(FDW) right to abode, especially those who had lived in former British territory for more than seven years.
Eni Lestari, spokesperson of the AMCB in a statement said that the HK government should not fear FDWs, but rather uphold their rights as human beings and as workers who have much contribution with the continuous growth of the HK economy.
“The core issue here is about the right of FDWs against discrimination. If qualified FDWs wish to apply for right of abode, they should be allowed to do so as the Basic Law does not exclude FDWs and international agreements that are used as standards for human rights also guard against discrimination. Human rights should be upheld and never feared,” said Lestari.
Lestari issued such statement as some HK politicians are creating “dooms day” scenarios in order to gather support for their cause of disallowing FDWs to get permanent status in HK. Lestari also disclosed that there are some moves in the HK parliament to pass a legislation that would impose a three-year cap for FDW contracts in order to prevent them to stay there for seven years.
“Instead of thinking of ways to uphold the rights of migrants, the Hong Kong government is choosing more regressive measures that have been criticized in other countries already. For the HK government, it is better to sow an atmosphere of fear and discrimination rather than create a condition to prevent discrimination,” she said.
The lady migrant leader also forewarned about the dangers of too much discrimination against FDWs as it would breed hate crimes as well as other tragedies.
“Anti-migrant ideas breed hate crimes against migrants and immigrants. The same picture painted by these narrow-minded politicians is the reason why we have tragedies such as the recent killings in Norway. Is this the kind of thinking that we should allow to rule in Hong Kong?” the migrant leader said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)