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Protests mark International Migrants Day

| January 26, 2012

Sabina Basnet of Overseas Nepalese Workers Union reading her speech in Chater Road photo: UNIFIL

Workers here lend their voices to mark the International Migrants Day last Dec. 18.

Hundreds of foreign domestic workers lamented their low salary, and their exclusion in the statutory minimum wage.

With support from local non-government groups and rights advocates, they also expressed alarm over social exclusion and denial of their rights. The protesters claimed that the ongoing legal battle for foreign domestic helpers’ right of abode highlighted their exclusion in Hong Kong society.

From Chater Road in Central, the Filipino workers marched to the Philippine Consulate General to raise their concerns to the government.

They proceeded to the new Central Government Office and submitted a petition to a government representative.

The petition listed their demands to increase the monthly minimum allowable wage of foreign domestic workers to at least $4,000; repeal all anti-migrant and discriminatory government policies such as the two-week rule and mandatory live-in arrangement for foreign domestic workers; ratify the International Labor Organization Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers; and legislate working hours regulation and comprehensive pension fund for all workers in Hong Kong.

The protesters were led by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, United Filipinos in Hong Kong, Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union, as well migrant workers from Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The local supporters included Occupy Central (Hong Kong), League of Social Democrats, A8, Socialist Action, Civil Human Rights Front, Fr. Franco

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