UEM News

Study trip to Hong Kong

Picture above: Reception of the tour group by the Rhenish Church Hong Kong. Picture below: Welcome by the deputy German consul general David Schmidt. Picture below: Visit to the "Elderly Centre". Picture below: Information about the situation of female migrant workers in Hong Kong. (Photos: Elke Patalla/UEM)

A UEM study group is visiting Hong Kong from 13.10. to 26.10.2018. The study trip focuses on the problematic human rights situation of female migrant workers from Indonesia and the Philippines in Hong Kong. The housing shortage in Hong Kong, the city with the most expensive rents worldwide, and its effects are also a focal point of the trip.

The group was welcomed by Deputy German Consul General David Schmidt, who gave the group both an insight into the special work of the Consulate General in Hong Kong and showed interest in the topic of the study trip, women migrant workers in Hong Kong.
Nurul Qoiriah, head of the IOM (International Organization for Migration) office, informed the group about the sometimes catastrophic working conditions of migrant women and the support provided by the IOM.

The migrant women who work as domestic workers are often subjected to gross human rights violations. Work of up to 16 hours per day, too low wages and physical abuse are not uncommon.
One reason for the great need for domestic workers is the lack of state care and assistance for children and seniors, which is why this work is often done by migrant women. The host church, the Chinese Rhenish Church, presented its comprehensive diaconal work to the group and invited them to a day care centre for senior citizens. Senior citizens can spend their day here, accompanied by a varied programme.
In addition, the participants visited the Tao Fong Shan Christian Center and learned about the work of the center and traditional religions in China and Hong Kong. Martin Lachmann from the Amity Foundation gave another exciting input the next day, giving the group insights into the current situation of Christians in China.

Over the next few days, the group will meet various organizations that are committed to supporting migrant women working as domestic servants and engaging in dialogue with migrant women. SoCO (Society for Community Organization) will provide insights into the extremely tense housing situation.
The study trip is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office.

Lena Wallraff, tutor at the UEM training centre Wuppertal

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