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Victim ‘appalled’ by Hong Kong’s refusal to outlaw forced labour

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Victim ‘appalled’ by Hong Kong’s refusal to outlaw forced labour

Hong Kong government has decided to go in appeal against a lower court verdict that gave some relief to a sex abuse victim while rebuking Hong Kong’s failure to enact a dedicated anti-trafficking law.

The absence of such a law contributed to the police botching an investigation into the abuse of a Filipino domestic helper, the lower court remarked four months ago.

Hong Kong has around 340,000 migrant domestic workers, mostly women from the Philippines and Indonesia.

Expectations that the April ruling would lead to legislative reform were dashed, as the city’s Department of Justice confirmed it was appealing the case,a media report said.

“I am absolutely appalled by the government (appeal),” the Filipino woman, identified as CB was quoted as saying. She added that legal reform was needed to prevent “inhumane treatment”.

Her lawyer Patricia Ho added that she expected the government to “fight to the end” to dodge legislation, the report said.

Hong Kong officials have been on record repeatedly saying that human trafficking was never a problem in the city. They have been asserting that existing laws are enough to tackle such crimes.

Saying that Hong Kong has failed to effectively protect migrant workers from abuse and exploitation, Amnesty International called for a “comprehensive law on prevention, prosecution and protection” in the former British colony.###