[Eni Lestari (right) from Indonesia, Dolores Balladares (center) from the Phillipines and Ganika Diristiani from Indonesia and representing the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body outside Hong Kong’s High Court Wednesday morning, Agence France-Presse / Getty Images, WSJ.com].
By Enid Tsui, Financial Times, March 28, 2012 —
The Hong Kong government has won an appeal against a landmark ruling that gave foreign domestic helpers the right to apply for permanent residency in the city.
In the legal challenge filed by Evangeline Vallejos, a Filipino domestic helper who has lived in Hong Kong since 1986, a court had ruled last September that it was wrong for Hong Kong to exclude foreign domestic helpers from qualifying even if they had lived continuously in the former British colony for more than seven years, the minimum length of stay required for foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency status. . . .
In its ruling, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal said the city’s constitution required seven years of “normal” residence to qualify for permanent residency and that the government has the right to define “normal” residency in a way that excludes foreign domestic helpers. It pointed out that foreign diplomats and Vietnamese boat people staying in detention camps during the 1980s and 1990s were also excluded on the same basis. . . .