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Managing labour migration: The case of the Filipino and Indonesian domestic helper market in Hong Kong 3

A state with a higher migration infrastructure imposes more fees upon labor migration stakeholders and provides greater access to social protection services for migrant workers relative to a state with lower migration infrastructure.

1.3 Findings

Analysis of our survey findings suggests that the range of problems and exploitation Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers face are the same. However, important differences arise in the magnitude at which violations are reported across these populations. Over all, Filipino maids detailed violations with less frequency than their Indonesian counterparts. This variation in outcomes indicates that the interplay of higher migration infrastructures in both sending (the Philippines) and receiving (Hong Kong) states leads to better welfare among migrant workers.

Trends from the PAE-FDH survey support the initial hypothesis and are highlighted below:

Pre-departure: required interactions with migration infrastructures

Pre-departure costs differ across populations. At least 74 percent (n=82) of surveyed Indonesian FDHs did not indicate any pre-departure payments, but noted that their fees came in the form of salary deductions once in Hong Kong (i.e. monthly payment of HK$ 3,000 for first seven months). In general, migration costs for Filipino FDHs surveyed were up-front – incurred and settled

in

pre-departure

stages.

Fees

were

paid

to

various

government

agencies

and

private institutions in the Philippines certification, medical examination, insurance.

for services that include training, skills document processing and mandatory

Filipino FDHs tend to be more aware of Hong Kong laws. Surveyed Filipino

FDHs reported greater awareness than Indonesians of their human rights

as

relevant

Hong

Kong

labor

and

immigration

laws.

Twenty-three

as well (n=80)

Filipinos certified the government informed them of these rights departing for Hong Kong. By contrast, only one (n=82) Indonesian their government for prior exposure to Hong Kong laws.

prior to credited

Pre-departure findings suggest that the Filipino FDHs surveyed are required to pay more fees for migration services than their Indonesian counterparts prior to departing for Hong Kong.

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