foreign domestic workers, fdw, hong kong, philippines, ofw, overseas foreign worker, overseas foreign workers, placement agency, labor slavery, debt bondage, fair employment agency


Domestic workers are among the most exploited groups, composing 24% of the estimated 45.8 million forced laborers worldwide. The market for domestic workers has expanded especially rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region; in Hong Kong alone, there are currently 360,000 domestic workers—about 10% of Hong Kong’s workforce—mostly originating from the Philippines and Indonesia (Hincks, 2017). 94% of these workers show signs of exploitation or forced labor (Kang, 2017). The nature of their work in a foreign country limits their access to government protection, forces them to comply with illegally high recruitment fees, and can push them to submit to abuse in fear of losing employment or their visa if they complain.

This article examines the domestic worker market in Hong Kong, the sources of debt bondage and abuse, and the present landscape of the issue.



Marriott Student Review is a student journal created and published as a project for the Writing for Business Communications course at Brigham Young University (BYU). The views expressed in Marriott Student Review are not necessarily endorsed by BYU or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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