A baby was born to a foreign domestic worker in Hong Kong. Soon after his birth, his mother was introduced to work for a businessman who offered a place in a boarding house where the baby could stay with his mom. But before the job began, the man asked the mother to leave Hong Kong for Macau and pay an employment agency for her work visa. Unusually, he also asked for birth documents of the baby, promising that he'd help the baby get Hong Kong residency and that meanwhile, he would hire a caretaker and pay for napkins and milk powder in her absence. However, when in Macau, the mother found out this man did not keep any of his promises and the baby had to be in the care of her friends instead. To her horror, she also found out that she couldn't get a new work visa and that Hong Kong's Immigration Department denied her re-entry. She had no choice but to go back to Indonesia. She stayed in touch with her friends and tried every way to reunite with her baby. She asked the man to help send her baby to Indonesia but he would come up with excuses such as more time was needed to process necessary documents. Months had passed and then one day he asked her to sign some document to grant him the custody of her child. She suspected something was wrong and that he seemed to be intentionally keeping her son away from her so she approached PathFinders for help. PathFinders' Case Manager immediately sprang to actions to help the mother in distress. First PathFinders asked the mother to authorise us to handle the case. Then we sought the assistance of the Indonesian Consulate to send its staff member to accompany the child on flight to Indonesia. At long last, the mother and child's arms reached for each other at the airport. Their separation lasted almost a year and caused the mother so much anxiety. Without intervention, the child could have been lost to strangers or even potential human trafficker forever. It is therefore crucial for all migrant mothers to be empowered with knowledge to protect themselves and their children, as well as to seek help when needed.

Photo: Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia Hong Kong