The government's screening efforts to find victims of human trafficking are being called into question by activists, who say they have identified dozens of modern-day slaves in the city.
The Civil Society Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force on Monday said six percent of around a thousand cases it looked into between last August and this June were victims, the majority of them domestic helpers.
Last year the government identified just nine victims after screening some 4,700 people.
A task force member, Lee Cheuk-yan from the Confederation of Trade Unions, said the government must start counting labour exploitation as trafficking.
"They are under debt bondage, they are not allowed to leave employers’ homes after they are off-duty so they are trapped there," the former lawmaker said.
"All these are definitions of human trafficking, so we need legislation on human trafficking, so that there’s a clear definition of human trafficking, modern slavery and that the whole network of human trafficking can be tackled by this new law," he added.
But the undersecretary for security, Sonny Au, said the government's figures show human trafficking is not prevalent in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, he said, the authorities take trafficking in persons seriously.