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IOM Hong Kong SAR, China and Civil Society Organizations Support Migrant Workers Impacted by COVID-19

IOM Hong Kong and CSO support migrant worker impacted by COVID19

IOM Hong Kong SAR, China sub-office in partnership with HELP for Domestic Workers provided cash allowance to migrant workers affected by COVID-19. 

5 May 2022, Hong Kong SAR - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has partnered with five local Civil Society Organizations to assist migrant workers impacted by COVID-19 in Hong Kong SAR, China. The assistance includes cash allowance, shelter provision, capacity building and training programmes to equip vulnerable migrant workers with knowledge on their rights during the COVID-19 pandemic and related information.  

Since January 2022, Hong Kong SAR, China, has been fighting against its biggest wave “the Fifth Wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than one million cases and over 9,000 deaths were recorded between 31 Dec 2021 - April 2022, according to the statistics from the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong SAR, China government.  

Among those affected, many were migrant domestic workers. While the pandemic has impacted the greater Hong Kong population, the impact on migrant domestic workers was accentuated. Some workers had to be dismissed by their employers following a COVID-19 positive test results; while others had to find suitable isolation space on their own as their employers would not allow home isolation as per the government guidelines. As a result, workers in some instances were left homeless. 

The workers faced financial difficulties and several hardships as they were unable to work after testing positive for Covid-19. Their savings were inadequate to pay for food and shelter. Most were waiting for their new employment visas which affected timely salary payments. Through the partnership with Civil Society Organizations, IOM was able to support with the provision of basic needs and food allowances.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented array of challenges. To meet the needs and challenges faced by migrant workers, IOM has partnered with Civil Society Organizations in Hong Kong SAR, China to support workers impacted by the pandemic. The partnership has provided a lifeline to those in need”, said Myriam Mwizerwa, Head of Sub-Office for IOM Hong Kong SAR, China. 

IOM Hong Kong SAR, China sub-office in partnership with HELP for Domestic Workers provided cash allowance to migrant workers affected by COVID-19.

HELP for Domestic Workers (HELP), one of IOM’s implementing partners in Hong Kong SAR, China, has assisted more than 200 migrant workers facing COVID-19 related issues during the Fifth Wave. The workers received assistance in the form of access to temporary accommodation, medical and essential needs provisions including food, sanitary items, and/or cash allowance. Most migrants assisted experiencing financial difficulties and few had no income while waiting for a new employment visa. HELP and other organizations were able to rely on, and coordinated closely with, the HKSAR Labour Department and Immigration Department to secure government isolation facilities and visa extensions for affected migrant domestic workers. 

IOM’s partnership with civil society is implemented under the framework of a regional multi-stakeholder project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), to enhance protection of migrant workers in Asia impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a part of IOM’s Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST), which aims to enhance the protection of the human and labour rights of migrant workers in business operations and international labour supply chains. A series of regional and country level interventions has been carried out to support migrant workers in seven countries of origin in South and Southeast Asia and in three countries of destination, including Hong Kong SAR, China.

For more information, please contact Ms. Myriam Mwizerwa at 
For media inquiries, please contact Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Yen at 




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