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What domestic helpers should be aware of about the protests in Hong Kong

Update on 6 August 2019:

“Anti-Extradition Law” protest events continue in Hong Kong since the last update of this article. We’re updating this article to provide continued information for domestic helpers and to assure the community that outside of the protest events, Hong Kong is safe and continues to operate as normal.

It can be dangerous to be at the protests locations when they are ongoing, however outside of these times and locations, Hong Kong continues to operate as normal and is safe. 

These protests events are largely scheduled and focus around locations that are related to the issues such as the: Hong Kong Legislative Buildings, Police Stations, Airport and major driving throughways. The event schedules and news or changes are communicated through news, social media, and updated on public transport mobile apps. Over the past several weeks, protests are largely calm in the morning and early afternoon and tensions have started in the evenings.

Domestic work visa processing timelines are not affected by the current situation in Hong Kong. Both Hong Kong and Philippines authorities continue to process visas normally. Fair Employment Agency and our partner agency continue processing and deploying Filipino workers as usual. Currently, there are no changes to regular timelines and processing has not been affected by the situation in Hong Kong.

Stay away from the protest areas and stay alert:

  • Avoid wearing black clothing
  • Avoid going near protests. Do not go to watch or film as clashes are unpredictable, and it is possible that you can be targeted by mistake.
  • Follow updates on affected transportation: These mobile apps are available on Google Play or Apple App Store for free: MTR, HKeMobility, CitybusNWFB, 1933 – KMB/LWB.

As these events continue and are broadcasted internationally on news and social media, family and friends may be concerned:

  • Give regular updates to your friends, and share your surrounding situation
  • Keep an active phone or messenger communication channel
  • Remind them areas outside of the protests continue to be safe

As always,

  • Have your HKID with you at all times.
  • Do not engage in illegal activity

Keep these contact details with you:

Update on 23 July 2019

Over the past several weeks, Hong Kong has seen multiple large-scale protests and rising tensions in response to the Extradition Bill. It is unclear when these issues will be resolved and there are some recommended precautions that the public should take.

Domestic helpers are strongly advised to stay alert of their safety and avoid involvement in dangerous or illegal incidents.  

Areas to avoid on Sundays:

  • Victoria Park in Causeway Bay
  • Admiralty
  • Central
  • New Town Plaza in Sha Tin
  • Yuen Long

Protests and other activities have mostly taken place on Sundays, which is the day that most domestic helpers have off. They have also affected popular areas for domestic helpers to spend their time off. Protests have largely started from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to around legislative offices in Admiralty, and Central. Key areas affected have been current tensions are: New Town Plaza in Sha Tin, and Yuen Long. For the next few weeks, domestic helpers are advised to avoid these areas until tensions are lessened. There is low-risk of being affected by these events if you avoid these areas. 

Stay alert:

  • Avoid wearing Black clothing.
  • Have your HKID with you at all times.
  • Do not engage in illegal activity

During this time, domestic helpers should be aware that individuals wearing Black clothing have been targeted, and should consider wearing different colour clothing. Bring your HKID with you at all times in case you are asked for your identification.

There have been concerns in the community that some groups may consider approaching ethnic minority groups and coercing them with payment to take part in violence. We strongly caution against any such engagement should this happen to you, as such acts are illegal with serious consequences and dangerous.  

Keep updated

  • Get live transport updates with the MTR app.
  • Stay updated on happenings with the news: HKFP and SCMP

Outside of the protest areas and areas of tension, there is low-risk to your safety. Stay alert and keep updated in order to keep safe.

Transportation may be affected. Bus routes will be changed if there are protests. The MTR may also make changes to their services. You can get live notifications and updates from the MTR from their  free mobile app: Google Play, iTunes.

Local news channels will provide the quickest updates on the situation. Follow local news outlets such as the Hong Kong Free Press and South China Morning Post on Facebook.

Last updated: 11:00am 6 August 2019

Last updated on August 12th, 2019