Filipina Domestic Worker in HK Forced to Work in China

A Filipino domestic helper who recently started working in Hong Kong, was reportedly forced to work in mainland China for ten days.

According to South China Morning Post, Rosgen, 23, said her employer threatened to send her back to the Philippines if she did not follow orders. She was sent to the house of her employer’s friend and was ordered to work.

Rosgen just arrived in Hong Kong last month but was brought to China in the guise of accompanying her employers on a holiday. She spent 10 days on a 30-day visa before returning to Hong Kong on Sunday. She allegedly tried to get the attention of a customs officer at Hong Kong border checkpoint by handing him a note saying “I have a problem, please help me call my agency in Hong Kong.”

But her appeal fell into deaf ears.

It is illegal to hire foreign domestic worker in China. Offending employers are subject to hefty fines while maids can land in jail plus a five-year entry ban.

The case raises concerns on employer abuse of domestic helpers by “leasing out” their maids and send them to work without authorization from both Hong Kong and mainland China governments.

In the case of Rosgen, it was not clear if monetary compensation was granted over her services in the mainland.

Ramon Buldron of Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants said household workers are in a difficult position when they encounter such experiences. He said that a maid could complain to authorities but could still receive punishment if she had started working.

Rosgen is planning to terminate her employment contract with her employer and will consult with her employment agency for further action.