The COVID-19 Pandemic has critically affected migrant workers' social wellbeing in host countries. In Hong Kong, migrant workers who work in domestic sectors are facing stricter rules that may be considered discriminatory, such as the Hong Kong government’s claim that migrants are at ‘high risk’ for infection, because of their habit of ‘mingling’ with other migrant workers. The official messaging positions migrant workers as ‘virus carriers’, this further results in the increase of mental, physical and social exclusion for migrants, in particular female Indonesian domestic migrant workers, who are a vulnerable and marginalized group. This article focuses on how the COVID-19 messaging that came from the Hong Kong government increased the stigma and discrimination towards domestic migrant workers and to provide some examples of the activist responses to the stigmatization through the rise of non-state actors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-648
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Hong Kong
  • Migrant
  • discrimination
  • pandemic
  • state
  • stigma


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