Campaigners say that every year there are hundreds of girls trafficked into child labour as domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian markets by predatory agencies that forge dates of birth on passports.

A lack of legal protection for underage domestic workers leaves them too frightened to speak out about abuse, even as the agencies that forged their passports go largely unpunished. The International Labour Organisation defines child trafficking as the movement of a child with the purpose of labour exploitation and says that migration-related cases are the “worst form of child labour”.

Many former child maids in Hong Kong were too afraid to interview for this article I wrote in March 2017: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2081823/indonesian-child-maids-hong-kong-singapore-why-theyre-suffering

More than a dozen child maids have been imprisoned in Hong Kong for having falsified passports. Because of this, the Indonesian NGO community in Hong Kong is divided over this issue and have chosen not to speak out. Understandably, they fear more Indonesian women will be sent to prison for having false travel documents– documents that the agencies were responsible for forging. These women need compassionate amnesty.

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