proposed locking down workers on their day off. She did not propose any restrictions during the week, when they often buy groceries and run other errands.

Mr. Law, the labor secretary, rejected that proposal at the time, noting that the infection rate among domestic workers was half of the rate in the general public.

Maricel Jaime, a Filipina worker who has been in Hong Kong for six years, said she had come to expect constant supervision on Sundays, when most domestic workers are off. During Christmas, she and her friends were careful to gather in small groups and to maintain distance. Still, whenever they briefly got close — to pass around food, or to retrieve something from a bag — officers hurried over to chastise them, she said.

“The police are around us, always checking. Even if we are following the rules, the police are still hassling us,” Ms. Jaime said.

Puja Kapai, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong who studies ethnic minorities’ rights.

immediately denied that the rule was discriminatory. (He had, however, previously said that restricting access to restaurants by vaccination status could be discriminatory.)

Despite the attention that the pandemic has brought to the difficulties faced by migrant workers, Professor Kapai said she doubted that governments would embrace reform. Hong Kong’s economy has been battered by the outbreak, making pay raises for domestic workers unlikely, and few local residents have spoken out in the workers’ defense.

“I don’t think there is much of an incentive for the Hong Kong government to do anything differently,” she said.

Still, some workers are trying to create change.

Ms. Jaime, who is also a leader in a union for domestic workers, said she spends her Sundays trying to inform other workers of their rights — while complying with social distancing rules.

“I have fear to go outside because of Covid,” she said. “But I have so much fear that this kind of discrimination will get worse and worse.”

Joy Dong contributed research

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Domestic Workers in the Gulf Open Up About Labor Conditions on Tiktok

Female domestic workers, who are often isolated, are particularly vulnerable to abuse, according to rights groups.

With their already minimal freedoms further diminished by the pandemic and their isolation growing, the domestic workers are unflinchingly using TikTok to tell the world how they are being treated even though it could be dangerous to do so.

Some women use the posts simply to blow off steam. Others are seeking to spread the word of their often dire working conditions, frequently with a fatalistic sense of humor. Their audience, many of them also foreign workers, say that scrolling through funny videos is a way to ease loneliness and can provide a brief respite from stress, anxiety or depression.

“Many here are suffering,” said Merygene Cajoto, 35, a Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia who posts to more than 18,000 followers. “The way they express their depression, their stress from their work, is through TikTok. Friends send me videos and advice. It’s a kind of help line.”

Ms. Dama started posting on TikTok about a year ago, documenting the travails of workers like her in the Middle East. Before the “Don’t Got It” video went viral, she had fewer than 20,000 followers. After it came out, that number jumped by about 5,000 within days, and she now has more than 32,000.

Her videos, often tinged with sarcasm, dissect some of the weighty problems facing domestic laborers in the Gulf.

In another video, Ms. Dama dons a head scarf to mimic her Saudi employer. Her boss accused her of stealing money because she “comes from poverty back home,” according to Ms. Dama.

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Scores Are Dead or Injured in Fire at Migrant Center in Yemen

CAIRO — A fire broke out Sunday in a detention center for migrants in Yemen’s capital, Sana, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 170 others, scores seriously, the United Nations migration agency said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, according to the International Organization for Migration. More than 90 migrants were in serious condition, and the death toll could climb much higher, according to the Houthi rebels who run the center.

The Houthi, who have controlled the capital since Yemen’s conflict broke out more than six years ago, said that civil defense teams had extinguished the fire and that investigations were underway to determine its cause.

A U.N. official said the fire erupted in a hangar near the main building of the center, which was housing more than 700 migrants. Most had been arrested in the northern province of Sada while trying to cross into Saudi Arabia, she said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to brief the news media.

“This is just one of the many dangers that migrants have faced during the past six years of the crisis in Yemen,” said Carmela Godeau, the regional director of the International Organization for Migration.

The narrow waters between the Horn of Africa and Yemen have been a popular migration route despite Yemen’s continuing fighting. Tens of thousands of migrants, desperate to find jobs as housekeepers, servants and construction workers, try to make their way across Yemen every year to the oil-rich Persian Gulf states.

Some 138,000 migrants embarked on the arduous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2019, but last year that number decreased drastically, to 37,000, because of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 2,500 migrants reached Yemen from Djibouti in January, according to the migration organization.

Those migrants are vulnerable to abuse by armed trafficking rings, many of them believed to be connected to the armed groups involved in the war. This month at least 20 migrants died after smugglers threw 80 overboard during a voyage from Djibouti in East Africa to Yemen, according to the migration agency.

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