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keeping helper's passport?

  1. #17
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Hong Kong

    Well, I think can see both sides of the fence.

    There is a desire to protect a helper, given that passports are very often misused by loan sharks.

    Yes, the helper can report the passport lost and get a new one, and yes, you can call the cops if the loan sharks harrass you (we have.. and it worked).

    However, every society has boundaries that are enforced. To use an extreme situation, to justify my point -- I know GI Joes in the US who claim that they're being persecuted because they can die for their country at the tender age of 19, but they cannot drink legally in their countries. Why? The goverments (elected by us, the citizens) have figured that they are not responsible to make a certain decisions on their own.

    Many helpers who come to Hong Kong, specially from rural areas have not experienced the many temptations that are going to be thrown at them. Just like some of our children have not. It is almost essential to protect them.

    Now, if your value system says that you want to protect them by keeping their passports, after explaining to them, that they can ask for the passport at any time, they want it... for a legitimate reason.

    Would you give your 16 year old full access to your platinum Amex? I don't think so ... not until he's proven his ability to use it wisely and even then, you'd probably want to get him a low limit credit card. (You'd be surprised how many orders we get on from kids who have taken their parents credit cards without their permission...).

    I know I'm using extreme examples .. but I also do hope that you consider that you're not taking the passport to enslave someone and deprive them of their freedoms, you're taking it to protect them.

  2. #18
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    If you can't trust your helper with her passport, how on earth can you trust her with your house and your children?

    There are plenty of naive and gullible helpers, as there are plenty of naive and gullible people but it is still illegal to hold someone elses passport.

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