Activists on Sunday urged the government to raise the statutory minimum food allowance for foreign domestic helpers, after a survey found one in three helpers suffer from hunger in Hong Kong.
According to a poll conducted by Caritas Asian Migrant Workers Social Service Project and Hong Kong Helper's Food Rights Concern Group between March and August, over 80 percent of the 471 foreign domestic workers they surveyed found the current food allowance to be insufficient.
"The 1,196 Hong Kong dollars stated in the domestic worker contract is not enough. Almost 38.5 dollars per day. What portion of food can you buy for three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner? You [may not be] full." Joselyn, a domestic helper who has been working in Hong Kong for five years told a press conference held by Caritas on Sunday.
"Actually, so many helpers, especially those new helpers who come here, they don't know what is HK$1,196." Jinky, the concern group's spokesperson, told RTHK.
"We just sign the contract, and then we don't know what is in the contract and about our food [allowance]," Jinky, who has also worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for a decade, said.
Activists for the helpers urged the government to raise the minimum food allowance from HK$1,196 to HK$1,800.
They also called on domestic helper agents to provide clearer explanations and terms on free food and the food allowance in the contract.