There are more than 330,000 Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong as of 2015 and have been part of Hong Kong's culture since the 1970s. However, thousands of this populace faces exploitation regarding their employment. Many are traumatized by the hardships of abuses by their employers, some suffer from sexual assault and harassment leading to social problems while others experience frequent verbal abuse.
Cases of abuses seem common, having flood local news media to highlight the severity and the increasing frequency of this problem but aside from abuse, there is one problem that stands higher in terms of frequency - underpayment. It occurs with thousands of thousands of foreign domestic helpers and yet this problem is the most common and easiest to solve according to a representative of Helpers of Domestic Helpers.
Every year, Hong Kong receives more and more migrant workers as Foreign Domestic Helpers from neighboring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, India and Philippines.
In 2013, there were about 320,000 Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong, with 48% of this populace coming from Philippines and 49.4% coming from Indonesia while 1% came from Thailand.
With a growing population, constituiing almost 5% of Hong Kong's total population, recruitment agencies from Hong Kong, Philippines and Indonesia exploit the vulnerability of these Foreign Domestic Workers.
Tens of thousands of helpers are unaware of the Minimum Allowable Wage for Foreign Domestic Helpers. This is largely due to their inexperience as a Foreign Domestic Helper in Hong Kong relative to the veterans whom have seen or participated in demonstrations to discourage increasing population of Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong or discussions with recruitment agencies and employers about their contract where it is reported that their opinion have no part in how the salary has been decided for them.
Violence and abuse
Abuses by the employers can come in mainly three forms - physical, verbal and sexual. This, among all three employment issues, is the most extreme and often the most difficult type of case for local organizations that provide legal services to solve. There are many factors such as lack of witnesses or evidence.
After the case has been settled, donations by the local organizations will be forwarded on to that particular Foreign Domestic Helper to assist in rebuilding her life.