Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hong Kong to rule on maids residency next month

The action by Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a Philippine domestic helper who has lived in Hong Kong since 1986 but was denied permanent residency, has cast a spotlight on the financial hub's treatment of its army of foreign maids.

High Court judge Johnson Lam reserved judgement after a two-and-a-half day hearing and said he will deliver a decision by the end of September, with an exact date yet to be fixed, Vallejos' lawyer Peter Barnes told AFP.

The ruling will be crucial as Vallejos' legal battle is the first of five launched by Filipinos -- the other being a couple, and a mother and son -- who have filed similar lawsuits, due to be heard in October.

The case has sparked frenzied debate in the southern Chinese city -- one of the most vibrant economies in the Asia-Pacific region -- on equal treatment for the foreign domestic helpers who play a key role in many households.

Under Hong Kong's Basic Law, or mini-constitution, foreigners can apply to live there permanently after seven years of uninterrupted residency -- but the city's 292,000 domestic workers are specifically excluded from that right.

Vallejos challenged the restriction, saying it was unconstitutional and discriminatory, but the government argued in court that it was "appropriate" and it is empowered to define who is eligible for residency.

Widget by Forex Trading | Business


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger | Printable Coupons