A 32-year-old Pakistani, who had fallen victim to human traffickers and worked in Hong Kong with no pay for the past four years, said he is glad to see justice served after the High Court ordered the government to give him monetary compensation.
In its ruling last Friday, the court said the government has failed to enact laws against human trafficking to protect workers from being exploited or turned into slaves, Apple Daily reports.
The court heard earlier that the plaintiff, referred to as Zn, came to Hong Kong in 2007 to work as a foreign domestic helper but soon realized that he was a victim of human trafficking.
He said he worked 15 hours a day the entire year without being paid any compensation and got beaten and intimidated by his employer from time to time.
He was sent back home in 2011, but he returned to Hong Kong in 2012 through an illegal channel to seek HK$220,000 in backwages his former employer owed him.
Facing reporters on Wednesday, Zn said he turned himself in to the Immigration Department soon after his arrival and asked for help, but an officer told him to go to the police.
He did so, but a police officer told him that he should take his case to the Immigration Department.
He said the buck-passing between the two government agencies made him feel helpless, and later he decided to file a lawsuit against the government to seek justice.
Although he finally won the case, Zn said the torture and other injustices he suffered can never be compensated in any form, Sing Tao Daily reported.
He said he will continue to live in Hong Kong with his local wife and their daughter.
Lawyer Patricia Ho, who represented Zn, said the case exposed the authorities’ little knowledge of the actual situations of human trafficking in the city.
She called on the government to enact laws against human trafficking as soon as possible.
Ho said Hong Kong is one of the most backward in the region in this regard since it still does not have laws against human trafficking, unlike India and the Philippines.
A spokesman for the Security Bureau said it is carefully studying the court ruling and will seek legal opinions before deciding on its next move, Apple Daily said.
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