With the number of MDWs projected to increase to 600,000 by 2047 to support an ageing population, the problems we see at PathFinders will also likely increase without systemic and policy change. To influence this change, PathFinders engages with the HKSAR Government, United Nations agencies, academics, consulates and key local and international stakeholders to ensure policies and practices do not actively exclude or omit to protect the children and mothers we serve.
In a time where everyone involved with education, rights protection, and welfare enhancement is a "change agent", understanding the aim of influencing has become of paramount importance. Realising the importance of understanding people's mindset and behaviour in driving changes, PathFinders has initiated various projects to understand the mindset of employers, MDWs, students, and agencies, including:
- Public Opinion Survey: Migrant Domestic Helpers' Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
- Public Comment Analysis
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
As part of our new 2020-22 strategy, we will be increasing our focus on influencing systemic and policy change on key issues that impact the lives of children born to MDWs in Hong Kong. We are currently working on the following projects with these key stakeholders:
Labour Department To address root causes that drive the children we serve into a crisis, PathFinders engages with the Labour Department to address challenges such as the legal requirement for a MDW to live-in during maternity leave and a lack of affordable solutions for employers of MDWs.
Social Welfare Department PathFinders has been dealing with cases where mothers are unable, for various reasons, to care for their children; who then have to be placed in the care system.
Immigration Department & Consulates PathFinders collaborates with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), consulates, and multiple Hong Kong-based NGO partners to identify and assist asylum-seeking mothers and children while they remain in Hong Kong. In addition, with NGO partners in Indonesia and the Philippines, PathFinders is expanding the assistance available to them upon their return home.
Public submissions PathFinders make public submissions to raise awareness of issues regarding maternity rights, women's rights, ethnic minorities, and children's rights to domestic law-making institutions.
PathFinders engages regional partners who are equally passionate about helping MDW mothers and their children. Besides, PathFinders frequently makes public submissions to the United Nations, reflecting on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Hong Kong, the United Nations Network on Migration, etc.