Not many people visiting Hong Kong realize that almost a tenth of the workforce in the city is made up of foreign domestic workers. The city plays host to over 340,000 migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who suffer from the ignominy of being invisible human resources. Growing concerns over their treatment, especially female MDWs, has raised several questions about the need for urgent reforms. Hugill Ip and PathFinders #PathGuardiansHK
Independent law firm, Hugill & Ip, has announced that it will partner with PathFinders and launch a joint fund-raising campaign for the benefit of MDWs and their children in Hong Kong.
Although MDWs provide a very valuable service to many Hong Kong families, especially those with young children and the elderly, they are denied basic protection services when faced with pregnancy. Most expectant MDWs are subjected to unlawful abuses like being forced to leave their job or resign simply because there is no specific law that governs such a circumstance.
When a pregnant MDW’s employment is terminated, she is immediately left to fend for herself. She immediately becomes homeless and loses access to public services like welfare and healthcare once her work visa expires. This is where organizations like PathFinders comes in.
PathFinders helps such MDWs by providing them critical support regarding pre and post-delivery care, child development plans, nutritional care and foundational learning skills to ensure that the children have access to education and a good life. Free legal education, information and support is provided to ensure maximum community engagement.
Hugill & Ip is making its own contribution by joining hands with Pathfinders. The fundraiser is set to officially kickoff on April 4, 2022 (Children’s Day) and will last until May 8 (Mother’s Day). Other than fundraising, events to raise awareness about the challenges and plight of pregnant MDWs and their children will be conducted throughout the campaign.
As part of the campaign, Hugill & Ip’s Estate Planning team will also prepare temporary and permanent Deeds of Guardianship on a pro-bono basis in exchange for minimum charitable donation of HK$2,888 to PathFinders. Ever dollar made will go towards helping PathFinders safeguard the wellbeing of children born to MDWs, particularly during the COVID pandemic.
Such initiatives are a necessity for a city like Hong Kong where the MDW population is expected to increase to 600,000 by 2047. A majority of MDWs are women of childbearing age, who as a result of various circumstances, are more susceptible to unplanned pregnancy during their stay in Hong Kong. The actions of PathFinders and Hugill & Ip are therefore, invaluable in spreading awareness and engaging the community on a wider basis.