Irfan Wahyudi, Rachmah Ida, Toetik Koesbardiati, Sri Endah Kinasih


The pandemic has critically affected migrant workers wellbeing in Hong Kong. For  migrant workers who particularly work in domestic sectors, pandemic means stricter rules that considered discriminative and socially excluding. The mandatory testing and  vaccination policies for migrant domestic workers (MDWs) placed by the Hong Kong  authority in late April 2021 was heavily criticised by migrant activists. Authority’s claim  that MDWs is “in ‘high risk’ for infection, because of their habit of ‘mingling’ with other  migrant workers” (Wang, 2021). Campaigns against the policy were performed through  offline and online channels where MDWs are actively take part. Hong Kong is a place for 370,000 MDWs who are mainly come from Indonesia and the  Philippines. They work from early morning until late evening for six days a week. Access  to mobile phones let them actively support migrant advocacy (Allmark & Wahyudi, 2016).  The access to social media via mobile phones allows MDWs to comment on, criticise and  share relevant information especially in the campaign against discriminative policies and  social exclusion. The policies allow stigma in viewing MDWs as virus carrier, while this  only results in the increase of mental, physical and social exclusion for MDWs (Syakriah,  2021). This writing’s main focus is on response and advocacy performed by migrant activists regarding the COVID-19 policies published by the Hong Kong authority. The utilisation of communication technologies by MDWs is also discussed, including the use of social media  in advocating the current issues. This paper argues that despite the controversial policies  targeting MDWs, their active engagement through social media has created solidarity and  place stronger bargain to the government. This research incorporates virtual  ethnography where MDWs activities in virtual channels are observed. This paper  contributes to the understanding of the living and social conditions of MDWs and their  activist roles in the community especially during the Pandemic. 

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