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Report/Press release

Hong Kong - Submission to the Legislative Council Panel on Manpower




Amnesty International, International Secretariat


Between May and October 2012, Amnesty International interviewed 50 Indonesian migrant
domestic workers in Hong Kong. In March 2013, further interviews were conducted with 47 returnees in Indonesia who had worked in Hong Kong as domestic workers.1 All of the
interviewees were women. The issues raised are not limited to Indonesians, but reflect the problems faced by the wider community of migrant domestic workers irrespective of
nationality. Amnesty International’s research demonstrates that placement agencies in Hong Kong employ coercive practices to maintain control over migrant domestic workers (e.g. the confiscation of identity documents, manipulation of debt and restrictions on freedom of movement). In this way, they compel migrant domestic workers to work in conditions where
they are exposed to exploitation, forced labour, threats and physical/psychological violence.
Hong Kong placement agencies work in close partnership with Indonesian recruitment
agencies, but they are separate organizations and come under the jurisdiction of the HKSAR
authorities which have a responsibility to monitor and regulate them, and ensure that they are
operating in full compliance with the laws in the Hong Kong SAR. The following outlines
specific abusive practices, which in combination amount to trafficking and forced labour


Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work

Content types

Policy analysis, Support initiatives, Statistics on work and life conditions, and Systemic/state violation of right/freedom

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers

Geographical focuses

China and Regional relevance