Most domestic workers come to Hong Kong (from countries such as the Philippines or Indonesia) in order to support immediate and extended family they leave behind. They make up 10% of our labour force, and we are relying on them to meet our growing needs - the Hong Kong government has estimated that we will need 600,000 migrant domestic workers to fill the elderly care gap by 2047.
The debt cycle often starts with recruitment and is compounded by lack of financial education:
- Average fees charged to domestic workers during the recruitment process.
- Legal annual interest rate on loans in Hong Kong. Domestic workers are often forced to take high interest loans to repay recruitment costs.
- 3-6 months
- of a 24 month contract is spent repaying recruitment debts. Late payment may result in harassment from loan sharks.
- Average amount of salary sent home to support family every month.
- of new Enrich participants (before our workshops), take as many loans as possible without knowing how to repay. This is often exploited by unscrupulous money lenders.
- of new Enrich participants (before our workshops), have to borrow money for emergency expenses, such as typhoon-damage, medical needs etc.