Sammi Lo, 13, Hoyu College
Yes, they should. Most domestic helpers have a high level of education but they can’t find a good job that pays enough because their countries are poorly developed. That’s why they go to other countries to be domestic helpers. If they could gain permanent residency, they could do other work and use their high education to improve Hong kong’s economic value or help Hong Kong develop.
Joyce Chan, 14, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
Yes, of course. Many domestic helpers have been working in Hong Kong for a long time. They can speak fluent Cantonese and have made many friends here. Many have integrated in our society and have a strong sense of belonging. Hong Kong has become their second home. Isn’t it cruel and immoral to reject them the status of permanent residency here after they have contributed so much of their youth for their employers?
Clara Chan Hoi-ying, 17, Wa Ying College
Foreign domestic helpers should be permitted to have the right of abode in Hong Kong. I don’t believe that they will deplete our social resources. Instead, their contributions to the economic development of Hong Kong should be rewarded, because their work allows mothers to join the workforce. They deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour and become permanent residents in Hong Kong if they wish to.
Cham Sheung-lee, 12, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College
Domestic helpers should not be able to gain permanent residency because Hong Kong is a densely populated area. If domestic helpers gain permanent residency, Hong Kong would become more crowded. Resources are limited here, and we cannot accommodate so many people. For example, we do not have enough money to give them medical welfare, and when they start having children it will overcrowd our school system.
Ken Chan, 18, CNEC Christian College
Most of the domestic helpers bear hardship without complaint. They do many jobs, such as chef, housekeeper, and baby sister to help take care of our home, but they just have a small salary. Domestic helpers should be able to get permanent residency in Hong Kong, but the shouldn’t have the normal residents’ welfare, such as public housing since we already don’t have enough space to live. However, they are welcome to live in their host house.
Stephen Chau Sheung-lam, 13, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
I think domestic helpers should not be able to gain permanent residency in Hong Kong. As we can see on Sundays and public holidays, thousands of them flock to downtown. If they are allowed permanent residency, they will just overwhelm Hong Kong’s public systems.
Lam Yin-tung, 16, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College
Domestic helpers should not be able to gain permanent residency in Hong Kong because there are too many of them. The government cannot handle so many applications and it will be a waste of money and resources.
Zoe Chiu Tsz-yan, 13, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
I think domestic helpers can have permanent residency in Hong Kong because they work in Hong Kong for many years. For example, if a domestic worker works in a family that has a new born baby, she might stay with that family for 10 years or more, until the baby is a teenager. After she has worked in a family for several years, she might change to another family and stay there for another several years. That means, a domestic worker needs to stay in Hong Kong for a long time. Therefore, I think they should get permanent residency.
Natalie Siu Cheuk-wing, 13, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
I think it is a must that domestic helpers should be able to have permanent residency in Hong Kong. They have worked hard for Hongkongers, so we should thank them in some kinds of ways. This is a good idea for them and us. Moreover, if they lived in Hong Kong, the people who want to employ a domestic helper will have more choices and they can promote Hong Kong’s economic development.
Tang Yat-shun, 13, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College
Domestic helpers should not be able to gain permanent residency in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is already densely populated, and if domestic helpers can stay in the city, the resources in Hong Kong cannot accommodate so many newcomers. There also might not be enough money for the government to provide education for the kids of the domestic helpers.
In our next Talking Points we’ll discuss:
What qualities are you looking for in Hong Kong's next chief executive?
We are now accepting answers from readers for this new topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry) to firstname.lastname@example.org by lunchtime on Monday, May 23. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line!