Pinay maid challenges H.K. residency rule

HONG KONG - Thousands of foreign maids could be eligible for permanent residency in Hong Kong if a landmark legal challenge succeeds, a human rights group said on Saturday.

Filipina domestic helper Julita Raza, 34, who claims Hong Kong's residency requirements for foreign maids are discriminatory, has won a judicial review of her case.

Law Yuk-kai, director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, said Raza had a strong chance of success.

"This shows there is a serious problem with the immigration ordinance and therefore I believe she has a strong case," said Law.

Law said there was no constitutional basis for imposing tougher residency requirements on maids compared with other foreign expatriates.

She added that 15,000 maids who meet the seven-year residency requirement could apply for permanent residency here if Raza's challenge was successful.

Currently, non-Chinese nationals are classified as permanent residents if they have lived in Hong Kong for a continuous period of at least seven years -- unless they are foreign maids.

Raza, a divorcee with a 12-year-old son, arrived in Hong Kong from the Philippines in October 1992.

The majority of Hong Kong's 240,000 foreign domestic helpers are from the Philippines, with Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and Sri Lanka also contributing significant numbers.
abs-cbnNEWS.com monitor

27/09/2003

Bron : ABS-CBN

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