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Expats fuel demand for domestic helpers

By Chen Xin and He Dan (China Daily)

13:43, March 02, 2012

BEIJING - The demand for home services from expats in China is rising as an increasing number have come to work and live in the country, mainly in big cities.

Around 600,000 expats were living on the Chinese mainland at the end of 2010, and about 231,700 of them had work permits, according to the latest national census and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Samina Hasan is from Pakistan and works at an international organization in Beijing.

She hires a 37-year-old Chinese domestic helper who has worked for her family for three years.

"She does cleaning and washing in my house and sometimes cooks for me and my husband. She knows quite well about our habits and our special days of religious significance," she said.

Hasan said she uses sign language to communicate with the helper.

"I think we could communicate better if I spoke better Chinese and she spoke more English. But it's not a problem."

Hasan said almost all the expats she knows in Beijing need domestic help.

Shi Bohong, general manager of Rikang Home Service Company in Beijing, said his firm provides services to more than 20 expat families.

Shi said many of his clients are employees at embassies who ask domestic helpers to go to their homes in the early morning to make breakfast and then do some chores and laundry until they come back home at 5 or 6 pm in the evening.

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wende at 2012-03-0471.255.93.*
Before anything else, China must see to it that all laws giving rights to the domestic helps and allow them rights to air their grievances. They must not work like slaves and their health care and overtime pays are given them by the expats. Any claims of sexual abuse must be investigated and police should not be cowed by these rich expats. Everyone is equal under the law. No one is exceptional, not even American. I am being satirical because Americans think they are exceptional. You all know that is B-lls--t.

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