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Global agreement on migrant labour

DHAKA (UCAN): A ray of hope broke through clouds of war and desperation when 130 countries agreed to create an international treaty on migration governance at a summit in Dhaka at the Global Forum on Migration and Development held from December 10 to 12.

Some 600 delegates attending the three-day meeting agreed to create a Global Compact on Safe and Orderly Migration.

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Migrant recruitment agencies a pampered racket

HONG KONG (SE): “If you will let us look for your new employer, we will charge at least $8,000,” a migrant worker pretending that she had been recently terminated was told by a member of the staff at an employment agency in Mong Kok on March 3.

Their conversation is just one among 10 secretly recorded by the Progressive Labour Union of Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Rights Exposure that is included a newly-released documentary, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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Using professional skills in another country

HONG KONG (SE): Over 300 people attended an information afternoon on alternative employment in other countries for teachers, nurses and other allied professionals who are working in Hong Kong as migrant domestic workers.

The information afternoon was organised by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Hong Kong and held at Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town on October 9.

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Cooking up a storm

HONG KONG (SE): “When you get married you need lots of patience,” celebrity chef, Vicky Munar, said in welcoming some 40 members of the CARD MRI financial literacy group to an afternoon cooking class.

“And when you are cooking you need as much patience as you do with your husband,” she quipped, stressing that producing a delicacy requires practice, trial and error, in addition to painstaking work in presentation, as well as expertise in preparing ingredients.

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Manipulated income level means industry can pay little

HONG KONG (SE): Migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong are again disappointed at the 2.4 per cent increase in their monthly  minimum allowable wage granted by a government board that operates in a silence protected from public scrutiny.

In refusing to grant the increase from $4,210 to $5,000 as requested by the workers, the board cited the short term economic outlook for the city, as well as the balance between the needs of migrant workers and the ability of the industry to pay.

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From migrant shelter to the United Nations

HONG KONG (SE): Sixteen years ago, Eni Lestari was a lost and bewildered soul taking shelter in a migrant worker refuge in Hong Kong from an abusive employer.

But in those short 16 years, her life journey has taken her from the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge to stand on the podium at the United Nations in New York and present a contract migrant worker’s perspective on life to representatives of 193 nations.

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Hong Kong migrant voice at United Nations

HONG KONG (SE): Eni Lestari, a domestic worker in Hong Kong for 17 years and chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance, is scheduled to speak as a representative of migrants around the world at the first ever United Nations (UN) Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York on September 19.

Lestari was chosen by the office of the president of the General Assembly of the UN to address the migrant situation. 

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Migrants are a blessing for Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): “I only want to live an ordinary life,” may well be a basic wish of many a migrant worker who has left home to labour in the domestic sector of Hong Kong, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung told a gathering at a Mass for Migrants celebrated at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on July 1.

The auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong went on to say that an ordinary life is really not so ordinary, as it also involves the willingness to sacrifice in the service of others.

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Recognition to unrecognised caregivers

HONG KONG (SE): The sight of a person in their sunset years accompanied by a foreign domestic worker on Hong Kong streets is not an uncommon one.

They appear in supermarkets doing the shopping, in queues at clinics, relaxing in parks and taking walks.

In some cases, even though the person may not be particularly old, the domestic worker is seen pushing or guiding a wheelchair, in addition to assisting their charges on and off a bus or train.

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A day to be feminine

HONG KONG (SE): Patriotic sentiment filled the parish hall at Notre Dame in Ma Tau Wai on June 9 as the celebration of the Pistahan sa Nayon (Festival of the Village) 2016, an annual event organised by the Simbayanan-KAMMPI Hong Kong, got underway.

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