The government is studying arrangements to recruit domestic workers from Myanmar, while the city awaits its first batch of Cambodian workers.

Hong Kong needs 600,000 domestic workers over the next 30 years to take care of its ageing population, Dr Law Chi-kwong, secretary of the Labour and Welfare Bureau, wrote on his official blog.

To meet that growing demand, the government has sped up the hiring of domestic workers from Cambodia – the first batch of workers could arrive in Hong Kong by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the government has been studying arrangements to hire workers from Myanmar. However, no details were revealed on his blog.

Law said that recently over 1,000 families affected by the Philippine government’s suspension of processing of overseas employment contracts for Filipinos showed how local families were dependent on the support they get from overseas workers.

The government needed to explore new markets to avoid being too dependent on a sole source, Law said, adding that they would also study how to better protect workers’ rights and to provide more places and activities for them to enjoy on weekends.

There are 352,000 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong and over half – 189,000 – are from the Philippines.

The Hong Kong Employers of Overseas Domestic Helpers’ Association chairman Betty Yung Ma Shan-yee said domestic workers from Myanmar worked in Hong Kong in 2014. However, many employers complained that their work was poor and the Myanmar government later stopped the recruitment scheme, Headline Daily reported.

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