Hong Kong court rejects residency bid for maids

Hong Kong’s top court on Monday rejected a bid to give hundreds of thousands of foreign maids the right to live in the city permanently, angering activists who said the ruling amounted to discrimination.

In turning down the attempt to give maids the same residency rights as other foreigners, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that there was no need to refer the case to Beijing for a final say, which would have sparked new controversy.

Officials in semi-autonomous Hong Kong had suggested enlisting the advice of the Chinese central government on the immigration question, sparking warnings that they were jeopardising the territory’s cherished judicial independence.

But the top court drew a line under the matter by rejecting the two-year legal challenge first brought by Filipina maid Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a 61-year-old mother of five who has lived in Hong Kong since 1986.

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