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A Filipino domestic worker who has worked in Hong Kong for 25 years is launching a legal battle for permanent residency in Hong Kong. Her case has attracted a lot of debate across the island city... and the impact it may have for the tens of thousands of migrant workers there.
A Filipino maid, Evangeline Vallejos, has been working for the same family for 25 years in Hong Kong. On Monday she started a legal battle for permanent residency in the island.
Filipino Migrant Workers' Union vice chairman says Hong Kong authorities should be concerned about the discrimination and social exclusion of migrant workers.
[Eman Villanueva, Vice Chairman, Filipino Migrant Workers' Union]:
"What this case is all about is it's basically a question of human rights. Why foreign domestic helpers are treated differently to the rest of other workers? If that's not discrimination, then what it is?”
A representative from another organization says foreign domestic workers feel discriminated against because of their sheer numbers.
Government sources are cited saying that a decision in Vallejos’ favor would overwhelm Hong Kong with more than 100-thousand workers and their dependents.
The human rights lawyer representing Vallejos has a different stance.
[Mark Daley, Human Rights Lawyer]:
"Well, the primary argument in this case is that the immigration impugns provision, that you heard about this morning. We say that's unconstitutional and against Hong Kong's basic law. So that's the primary argument here."
Some politicians warn that the Chinese regime might be asked for an interpretation of the constitution to overturn the court decision. This will be a repeat of the 1999 move when the regime overturned Hong Kong highest court’s decision to grant residency rights to mainland Chinese children.