Migrant workers who are victims of exploitation and human trafficking in Hong Kong struggle to bring claims against their abusers. Many cannot stay in the country to seek legal action, and going home almost always means going without compensation. Unscrupulous employers and brokers thus get away with theft or worse.
JWB has developed comprehensive legal resources in Singapore and Hong Kong on how to identify, develop and bring civil claims against exploiters even after the worker has returned home. These guides help caseworkers screen cases for potential legal claims, while helping host country lawyers prepare litigation for their clients.
Legal aid in most countries is focused on migrant workers who have not yet left for home. Very little information exists on what remedies are available to victims bringing suit from abroad, or even the procedural hurdles that must be overcome. Pro bono practitioners are often forced to attempt these complex cases through trial and error.
Our Hong Kong Practitioner’s Manual was launched in December 2015, and is already being used in the field as we and our Hong Kong partners screen potential cases for litigation.
Learn about our Singapore Practitioner’s Manual here.
Our Practitioner’s Manual was the product of countless hours of work by pro bono lawyers, law students and other volunteers. Please consider a donation in support of JWB when you download the manual. Our suggested donation levels in USD are:
ABOUT THE PRACTITIONER’S MANUAL
JWB’s Practitioner’s Manual for Migrant Workers seeks to help those who go home to bring claims against their abusers in Hong Kong. Gathering the experiences and knowhow of local and international lawyers and advocates in the field, the manual guides legal and non-legal service providers through the process of seeking just compensation in Hong Kong courts on behalf of exploited migrant workers, including:
What legal remedies are available for the most common forms of exploitation?
From non-payment of wages to battery and sexual assault, the Practitioner’s Manual describes in detail what can be claimed in Hong Kong’s courts.
How to bring these claims when a victim returns home?
Many procedural and logistic hurdles stand between a victim and just compensation. The Practitioner’s Manual maps out these roadblocks and explains what is needed to overcome them.
How to find a partner in the client’s home country—or in Hong Kong?
For lawyers and NGO advocates in Hong Kong, finding a reliable partner in the victim’s home community is vital to keeping in contact and continuing the case in the victim’s absence. The Practitioner’s Manual describes the key organizations and individuals that advocates can reach out to, whether in Indonesia, the Philippines, or elsewhere. For advocates in the victim’s home country, finding a partner in Hong Kong is vital for helping returnees pursue their claims from abroad.