Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers’ Health and Social Security Systems Literacy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author Name

Melissa R. Garabiles


Filipino Migrant, Domestic Workers’, COVID-19


Hong Kong SAR is home to more than 300,000 migrant domestic workers, more than half of whom are Filipinos. They are required to live in their employers’ homes away from the public sphere, making them susceptible to abuse and exploitation. Their situation even worsened because of COVID-19. Migrant domestic workers can be considered frontliners because they go to public places such as groceries and markets as part of their job, thereby increasing their likelihood of exposure to the disease. Their already long work hours became longer because of an increase in workload, as they clean more often and provide more childcare for children who are now studying from home. Their limited leisure time and leaves became even shorter or even non-existent, as many are required to stay in their employers’ homes during their day-off and travel restrictions hindered them from going on vacations to the Philippines. With a surge in cases in Hong Kong during the past months, there are reports of migrant domestic workers getting fired after testing positive. This resulted in homelessness, lack of earnings, and inability to access healthcare. These circumstances point to the importance of having health and social security measures to protect this vulnerable group of workers. Using the results from the Scoping Study on Health and Social Security Systems Literacy of Filipino Migrant Workers in East Asia, this paper investigates the health and social security systems in Hong Kong and migrant domestic workers’ access to these information and provision of services during the pandemic.



4th International E-Conference “Migration, Governance, and Covid-19: Perspectives, Policies, Opportunities, and Challenges”
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