Hardly a week goes by without a report of some cruel and heartless act or abuse by a local employer of an Overseas Domestic Worker.
Philippine Helper Baby Jane Allas was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer (a deadly disease which kills more than 300,000 people per year) at a public hospital in January having
first noticed symptoms in December. Baby Jane is a single mother of five children who came to Hong Kong to work to support her family. When told of her helper’s situation her employer, instead of showing sympathy, terminated her employment. This would normally mean she had to leave Hong Kong within 14 days, and more importantly, her health care insurance was cancelled, denying her life-saving treatment and
drugs. Her employer even put on her dismissal letter that the reason for the termination was ill health. Baby Jane is also alleging that the employer broke many of the laws designed to protect helpers.
She was also given her notice while on sick leave in contravention of Hong Kong law. Without help. Baby Jane must leave Hong Kong and rely on the much more unreliable healthcare in the Philippines- and with little money to pay for it. Luckily, her visa has been extended to allow her to stay in Hong Kong to take legal action against her employer, but she is still left without funds for her medical treatment and continued stay in Hong Kong. Her need is urgent. The Hospital Authority says she need immediate radiation and chemotherapy. Even a delay of a few weeks could be critical. Concerned well-wishers have set up a go-fund-me page to try to raise money for Baby Jane’s treatment – you can contribute here:
It is well-known that uncaring employers here in Hong Kong often dismiss domestic workers because of serious illness – and the government rules allow them to do it, offering little or no support to the sick worker. Most domestic helpers in these circumstances have to rely on charity here or give up and go back home with no medical support.
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Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
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