OM Hong Kong worker Debbie explains what it’s like to serve with OM’s Companion Ministry, which journeys with sex workers towards spiritual and physical freedom.
Most of the prostitutes we know are single mothers. They are supposed to be supported by social security, but only a few of them apply for the comprehensive social security assistance scheme, Besides, most of them are not eligible to apply for public rental housing. Despite their diligence and willingness at work, they suffer from their coworkers’ rejections and verbal abuse. These make them quit their job shortly or even give up looking for another job.
Some prostitutes were teachers and nurses in their hometowns. However, their qualifications are not recognized in Hong Kong. As they cannot speak fluent Cantonese and read traditional Chinese, many are not able to find any work. In addition, their mainland Chinese accent is often mocked by the locals. One ex-prostitute told us that her alimony from her ex-husband was in arrears, but she refused to ask for help, because she felt discrimination by the government. She would rather work hard in her part-time cleaning job, as she said handling trash was better than being with people.
Due to their marriages with Hong-Kongers, many prostitutes hold a one-way permit to migrate to Hong Kong in order to be with their families. However, the law states that when immigrants get their Hong Kong identity cards, their registration and privilege in mainland China would be lost at once. Once they lose their identity in the Mainland, the divorced prostitutes could not work there again, and their children would not be able to get into schools.
Their future is uncertain, but there is no way back. Where can they go? We don’t have the answer, but we trust our Heavenly Father.
Pray with us for the women caught in sex work in Hong Kong, as well as the OM team members serving them. Pray that the Lord would provide a way for these women to find freedom and that they would be able to support themselves.
The CSSA Scheme provides a safety net for those who cannot support themselves financially. It is designed to bring their income up to a prescribed level to meet their basic needs. For more information, please visit http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_comprehens/