Panel discusses cross-sector collaboration to protect children affected by migration

From left: Dr. Lucy Jordan from HKU, Xyza Cruz Bacani and PathFinders' CEO Catherine Gurtin

11th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The importance of cross-sector collaboration to protect and respect children affected by migration was the focus of a panel discussion held today to launch the Children at the Heart of Migration report. The report was published by PathFinders in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong (HKU).

The panel discussion featured Dr. Lucy Jordan, Associate Professor at HKU’s Department of Social Work and Social Administration, international award-winning photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani who used to work as a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) in Hong Kong, and PathFinders’ CEO Catherine Gurtin.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of MDWs entering homes in Hong Kong and making significant contributions to countless families across the city. Currently, there are approximately 340,000 MDWs in Hong Kong, and the government anticipates needing 600,000 MDWs by 2047 to help care for the rapidly ageing population. Over 90% of these MDWs are women of childbearing age. Many are also mothers who leave their children behind to work overseas and provide them with a brighter future.

However, most migration management and labour policies neglect to adequately consider the potential impact of migration on children, whether they are born in the country of destination or left behind. While migration is an important engine of economic growth for families, it is crucial for governments and other stakeholders to put in place safeguarding mechanisms to prevent any negative social impacts of migration on children, especially before mass migration of women is encouraged as caregivers for ageing populations.

The panel highlighted the importance of further discussions to explore opportunities for collaboration among NGOs, government departments, and other stakeholders across both sending and destination regions. It is crucial that all parties are aware, engaged, and willing to work together to ensure the protection and respect of all children affected by migration.

For full report: click HERE.