A Catholic weekly newspaper editorial published on Sunday criticized the Hong Kong government for ignoring the rights of foreign maids working in the city, under the headline: “Bad consequence for ignoring the underprivileged.”

The Kung Kao Po editorial said there were a lack of policies to ensure foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong could live comfortably and the government should review its policies on this workforce to ensure that their rights were well protected.

Due to the unclear definition of “suitable accommodation” in the law, many domestic workers were forced to sleep on sofas, balconies, kitchens and even the toilet, the editorial said, citing a May 10 NGO report published by Mission For Migrant Workers (MFMW).

Read: Charity urges better accommodation for Hong Kong maids

Many domestic workers were overcharged and exploited by employment agencies, while the government failed to take effective measures to stop them. Domestic workers feared losing their job if they filed any complaints.

Read: Domestic workers’ plight in the spotlight

The Catholic newspaper editorial said domestic workers contributed a lot to the city, which has has not yet developed a system to take care of children and the elderly.