Migrant and Sex Workers
From Asian Migrant Centre and Ziteng reports
26 November marked the United Nation's International Day against Violence Towards Women.
Hundreds of women demonstrators rallied in Hong Kong to protest sex-based violence.
Widening the scope from domestic violence against women to include violence at the hands of employers, the demonstrators generally represented migrant and sex workers.
Sajida Ally of the Asian Migrant Centre told the rally that the half dozen migrant organisations in Hong Kong routinely receive one to two hundred complaints per week.
The complaints include verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, refusing to allow medical attention when the workers are sick, and cancellation of rest days.
An indication that industrial violence against women is based on class rather than sex is that most cases of assault are of female employers attacking their (migrant) female domestic workers (see ALUs passim).
Female infanticide and female 'circumcision' (genital mutilation) are still high on the list of violence against females, however domestic violence by men against their partners remains a worrying problem that is largely unreported.
A speaker for sex workers' group Ziteng (see ALU 33) said that even though prostitution is not illegal in Hong Kong, sex workers are constantly harassed by policemen who frequently rape and beat them, and intimidate potential clients to deprive the women workers of income.