Wednesday 7 December 2016

Swell

Malcolm Moore

Published 23/08/2011 | 05:00

For decades, Hong Kong's army of maids, the near 300,000 Filipinas, Malays and Indonesians who tend the homes of the island's rich families, have been expected to cook, clean, look after children and eventually return home.

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A landmark case began at Hong Kong's High Court yesterday, however, that could grant maids, and their families, the right to permanent residency; a development that critics say would instantly increase the island's seven million-strong population by up to 7pc.

Supporters argue it is time to stop treating maids as second-class citizens, while critics warn Hong Kong's already stretched healthcare and education systems would snap under the weight of as many as half-a-million immigrants.

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