Understanding the Challenges Faced by Foreign Domestic Helpers

Domestic helpers are individuals who are employed to do household work such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of children. In many countries, foreign domestic helpers are a common phenomenon. These helpers often migrate from poor countries to wealthy countries in search of better job opportunities. They play a vital role in the economic and social development of both the host country and their home country. In this blog, we will take a closer look at Foreign domestic helper (外傭), their impact on the global economy, and the challenges they face.

Foreign domestic helpers are often from developing countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. These countries have large populations of young women who are looking for job opportunities abroad. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are approximately 67 million domestic workers worldwide, and the majority of them are women. This suggests that domestic work is a gendered occupation with women performing the majority of the work.

Foreign domestic helpers have become an essential part of many households in wealthy countries. They perform tasks that are often considered to be unpaid household work, such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of children. These tasks free up the time of the homeowners and allow them to focus on their own careers or personal interests. In this way, domestic helpers contribute to the global economy by creating a division of labor that allows people to specialize in their own areas of expertise.

Despite the benefits that foreign domestic helpers bring to the global economy, they face many challenges. These include low wages, poor working conditions, and social isolation. Because they are often employed on a temporary basis, they do not enjoy the same benefits as other workers such as health insurance, sick leave, or retirement savings. Additionally, many domestic helpers suffer from social isolation and loneliness as they are often separated from their families and working in private homes.

One of the biggest challenges faced by foreign domestic helpers is the lack of legal protection. Many countries do not have laws that protect domestic workers, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Domestic helpers are often at the mercy of their employers who can terminate their contracts at any time and without providing a reason. Additionally, some employers withhold the salaries of their helpers as a means of control or as punishment for small mistakes.


In conclusion, foreign domestic helpers are a critical component of the global economy. They perform tasks that free up the time of homeowners, allowing them to focus on their own careers or personal interests. However, domestic helpers face many challenges such as low wages, poor working conditions, social isolation, and lack of legal protection. As countries around the world continue to rely on foreign domestic helpers to support their households, it is essential that laws are put in place to protect these workers and ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect. We must recognize the valuable contribution that domestic helpers make to our daily lives and strive to create a world where they are treated with dignity and respect.

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