“Discriminatory and unjust” – this is the label set by the Hong Kong migrant worker group regarding plans of making COVID-19 vaccine compulsory towards all foreign domestic workers.
In a recent report, it is said that the Hong Kong officials are planning to conduct a mandatory vaccinations for the domestic helpers totaling to 370,000, tagging them as ‘mostly poorly-paid women from the Philippines and Indonesia’.
Officials said that those domestic workers applying for a work visa will first have to show a proof that they have been vaccinated.
If this mandate pushes through, this will be the very first time that Hong Kong will tie the working rights of foreign workers to vaccines.
“This is clearly an act of discrimination and stigmatization against migrant domestic workers,” says Dolores Balladares Pelaez, from the United Filipinos in Hong Kong.
Morever, labor groups who are protecting the rights of domestic workers are angered by this plan stating that other foreigners, and even those locals who are working in care homes, were not really required to get vaccines before they can work.
“Again, we are being singled out and targeted,” says Pelaez.
The said vaccination plan was announced because of the recent incident wherein two domestic helpers were infected by a more virulent strain of the virus. All domestic helpers are also required to get tested in the next few days, a health measure which was not extended to the families that they are working for.
Hong Kong officials also tagged domestic workers as ‘high risk’ because they often gather outside during their weekly rest days and also because they come from overseas.
Source GMA News