Date
19 September 2017
Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal has upheld a decision by lower courts regarding denial of right of abode for a domestic worker's son. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal has upheld a decision by lower courts regarding denial of right of abode for a domestic worker's son. Photo: HKEJ

Top court rejects right of abode for domestic helper’s child

Hong Kong’s top court has dismissed an appeal from a domestic helper who was seeking to obtain the right of abode for her son.

The Court of Final Appeal ruled that although the child was born here, he had not established Hong Kong as his place of permanent residence.

“In most cases, the place of a child’s permanent residence will follow his/her parents or guardian, and there is no evidence show that the appellant has made any such arrangement for making Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence,” the court said, according to RTHK.

In addition, the appellant had left Hong Kong several times during the seven years before she submitted the application, and therefore does not meet the requirement of “ordinary resident” in Hong Kong, the court said.

The Philippine helper applied for a permanent identity card for her son in 2006 but was rejected by the Immigration Department. Two lower courts had also previously ruled against her.

Eman Villanueva, vice chairman of the Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union, said he was disappointed but not surprised by the latest ruling as the court had ruled against similar cases before.

“It was very clear that the government wanted to send the message that migrant domestic workers and their children were only welcome to stay in Hong Kong temporarily as cheap labor,” he said.

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JZ/MY/RC

Freelance journalist

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