Letter To Hong Kong

Letter To Hong Kong

類型:聲音語言:英文分類:Current Affairs狀態:播放中 節目簡介:                                                                
Leaders from Hong Kong's political parties and government departments take their turn to have their say.


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Legislator Kenneth Leung 00:05:47 2019-05-12
Dear Antonio
Thank you for inviting me to the Philippine consulate to give the first-ever sharing session with your nationals working in Hong Kong. There has been a frank and honest exchange of ideas and | hope these Sunday sharing sessions can continue.
The 380,000 foreign domestic helpers ("FDH") have contributed immensely to the economic success of this city, without them, many of our working mothers would have been tied down with family commitments and their energy and talents would have been subdued.
The cordial relationship between the employer, Cheong Wing, and the helper, Evelyn, depicted in the much acclaimed film, "Still Human", may be an urban fairytale. However, from my own experience, a trusted and good working relationship between the employer and a FDH is the key to maintaining Hong Kong as an open and friendly city and staying relevant as a vibrant economic hub.
The city's effort in tackling problems in trafficking in persons ("TIP") and to enforce protection of FDH has been doubted by international community in the past. The US State Department's report rated Hong Kong continuously for 3 years in the tier 2 watch list.
In March 2018, the Government set up a Steering Committee to Tackle Trafficking in Person and to Enhance Protection of Foreign Domestic Helpers chaired by the Chief Secretary, Matthew Cheung and promulgated an action plan (the "Action Plan"). The Chief Secretary wrote back to me on 23 April to provide me with updates on the Action Plan. Some progress has been made. The Action Plan comprises 14 new measures to strengthen the Government's efforts in tackling TIP and enhancing protection of FDHs. Of these, 10 were already implemented.
The measures implemented in relation to FDH included the launching of a FDH hotline and to step up publicity and education on the rights and benefits of FDHs. wz ee 4 F
| understand that the Labour Department will implement an initial victim screening mechanism in its ten Labour Relations branch offices throughout Hong Kong so that FDHs who may be exploited or abused can be identified at an early stage.
Separately, the Immigration Department will set up a new designated team to conduct preliminary check of FDH visa applications in order to identify potential TIP or exploitation of FDH cases. | was also told that the Government will create 98 permanent posts and provide annual funding of $62 million to relevant departments dedicated to the fight against TIP and the protection of FDHs.
Although some progress has been made in combating TIP and to enhance protection of FDH in the past year, | would like to see that the remaining of the measures contained in the Action Plan will be implemented as soon as possible, and no later than the end of this year. In addition, the effectiveness of the ongoing initiatives, especially, the enforcement actions, should be reviewed from time to time and necessary improvements will be put in place, taking into account the operational experience and further views from non-government organisations and other stakeholders.
| regret that the Government has yet failed to consider passing a comprehensive legislation to combat TIP. Dennis Kwok and | have worked together in drafting a member's bill entitled "The Modern Slavery Bill 2017" to tackle TIP and the protection of FDHs. Apparently no progress has been made on the side the Government (through the Chief Executive) to give consent to the bill so that it can be tabled with the Legislative Council for first reading. | note though that our neighbour, Macao, enacted a piece of legislation in 2008 to combat TIP. Today, many of us celebrate Mother's Day. My good wishes go to all the mothers of the FDH community who have left their children in their home country to come here for employment. | would also like to send my good wishes to Tanya Chan's mother and Tanya who is recuperating from a major operation. Happy Mother's Day.
Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Leung