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A Filipino domestic worker who came to work in Hong Kong but was forced by her employer to serve in Shenzhen two years ago says she had to work 20 hours a day while in that mainland Chinese city.
Mary, 37, the mother of two children, recalled in an interview with Apple Daily that she had been sent to serve in a house in Shenzhen two weeks after she came Hong Kong in 2015.
Her employer, an elderly woman, acquired a multiple-entry visa for her, which allowed her to stay in mainland China for up to 15 days on each visit.
Initially, Mary had to go to work in a Shenzhen house between Friday and Sunday at least three times a month. She was ordered to do the household chores from 4am to midnight and was not allowed to go online or walk on the street alone. Later it was arranged for her to serve her employers’ relatives in different houses in Shenzhen.
She was once sent to take care of a young man in a hospital in southwestern Guangdong province for 21 days, making her husband in the Philippines very worried.
The situation lasted four months until Mary returned to Hong Kong and called for help from her employment agency. She said she was given a new employer after she threatened to report the case to the Immigration Department.
Mary said the Hong Kong government had the responsibility to stop these kinds of exploitation of domestic workers.
The interview was a part of a series of reports published by Apple Daily on Sunday about how domestic workers were forced to illegally work in China. In July, a 28-year-old Filipino maid jumped to her death from a building in Shenzhen after she was forced by her employer to serve in the southern Chinese city.
Eman Villanueva, vice-chairman of the Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union, has estimated more than a thousand Filipino domestic workers hired to work in Hong Kong have been forced to work across the border in Shenzhen.