Spokesmen for the Cambodian and Hong Kong governments are urging agencies not to charge excessive fees to Cambodian domestic helpers wanting to work in Hong Kong and offered reassurance that their rights would be protected.
Minister of Labour Ith Samheng and Hong Kong Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong met yesterday for talks on sending domestic helpers to Hong Kong.
Mr Law, who is on a three-day visit, said he would talk to recruitment agencies to see how they were preparing domestic helpers to live in Hong Kong, and the cost of the agency fee.
“One of the purposes of our visit is to talk to our counterpart in Cambodia, hoping that the fee that they have to pay here will not be excessive,” he said.
“If we look at the experiences of Indonesians and people from the Philippines in Hong Kong, normally they are able to pay at least 50 percent of what they earn in a month back home.
“For a Cambodian, the cost would be roughly eight months’ pay, which is quite substantial,” Mr Law said.
“So, we hope in the future, if this pilot becomes a success, the fee will be lower.”
Mr Law said he looked forward to a long and successful partnership between Cambodia and Hong Kong.
“We have to ensure that both the Cambodian Government and the Hong Kong Government are happy, and that the workers’ rights and welfare are adequately protected,” he said.
Mr Samheng said that both parties would try their best to protect Cambodia’s domestic helpers and that they would set an official fee to avoid inflated charges.
Mr. Samheng said they would strengthen the cooperation between authorities in Cambodia and Hong Kong, especially with the Cambodian consulate general in Hong Kong for solving any problems of domestic helpers.
Mr Law said the Hong Kong Government has made every effort to try to protect domestic helpers in Hong Kong and they can ensure that the workers would not face any difficult situations.
“We start very small, with a thousand or two thousand, but as I told the minister, in the next 40 years, we are expecting 300,000 more domestic helpers to come from different places, and I expect there will be more coming from Cambodia,” said Mr. Law.