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September 2016 Newsletter

Dear friends,
 
September has been an active month for us as we continued on our mission of advocating for forced migrants’ rights, especially at the regional and international level. From New York to Bangkok, Justice Centre was at the heart of two key global refugee events; attending the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, as well as the 6th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights organised by Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). You can read about these and more below.
 
We also have some wonderful news to share with you. In September, we received confirmation that 5 beneficiaries of our intensive legal and psychosocial support were successful in their protection claims! This means that out of 20 of our clients who have received decisions on their protection claims since the start of the Unified Screening Mechanism (the Government’s screening system) so far, 14 have received positive decisions. This is no easy task in a system with an acceptance rate of less than 1%, and our lawyers work hard to ensure that every client receives the best possible chance to access justice. These latest recognitions encourage us to pursue our goal of working with lawyers and the Government for a fair and efficient USM.
 
Finally, in October, we are excited to have with us Jamie Kerr, a specialist in immigration and asylum law from Scotland, who will speak on a moderated panel along with our Senior Legal Advisor, Adam Severson, at 1pm this Friday, October 14. The lunchtime talk is generously hosted by LexisNexis and will be held at their offices at 39/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting lunchtime session. RSVP by email to johnson@justicecentre.org.hk.
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
Warmly, 

Piya Muqit
Executive Director

Quick links

Highlights in September

Justice Centre in the News

Upcoming Events

What You Can Do

Job Vacancies

SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Attending the UN Summit

Congratulations, Victoria!

Our Executive Director, Piya Muqit, was one of few representatives from East Asia to be invited to attend the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on September 19 in New York. At the Summit, States adopted the New York Declaration to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, but many civil society organisations felt that the Declaration consisted more of “considerations” than “commitments”. Therefore, Justice Centre, along with close to 100 civil society organizations around the world, signed a joint statement to urge States to make concrete, effective and immediate commitments, which you can read here.

We are proud that our Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Victoria Wisniewski Otero, was elected as Chairperson of the East Asia Working Group of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). Professor Yiombi Thona, who joined a lunchtime discussion with us in Hong Kong last month, has been elected as Chairperson of APRRN. Congratulations to Victoria and Yiombi!

Freshfields' Responsible Business strategy

Psychosocial training for the NGO community

In honour of the launch of their Responsible Business strategy in September, our pro bono partner Freshfields published “Article 1 in Your Words" - reflections from leading organisations and opinion leaders on Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The piece features our Executive Director, Piya who shares her thoughts, along with Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and other renowned human right practitioners. Thank you Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for featuring us in this inspiring publication. Check out Freshfields Responsible Business strategy here.

Many vulnerable people, including refugees and victims of torture, live with the effects of trauma every day and it is important for front-line workers to be aware of its impact. Our Psychosocial Programme Officer, Chloe Martin, is an expert in trauma-based behaviours and runs one of the only comprehensive trainings on trauma in Hong Kong. On September 30, Chloe delivered an extensive training for 18 Free to Run volunteers on trauma and crisis intervention, vicarious trauma and best practice. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from this unique training, contact us at info@justicecentre.org.hk.

'The Refugee Crisis - a missed opportunity' by Susan Gzesh 

Training our pro bono lawyers

On September 8, we were delighted to have Susan Gzesh, Executive Director of the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, deliver a lunchtime talk on the topic ‘The Refugee Crisis – A missed opportunity? Advocating for an expanded definition of “refugee” in an age of restriction’. Thank you also to our partner Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for generously hosting this talk.
On September 24, our Protection Claimant Services team delivered a full day of interactive training on refugee law for our pro bono partners. The lawyers learned about topics such as international human rights law, refugee law and Hong Kong’s protection claimant system. A big thank you to our pro bono partner, Latham & Watkins, for generously hosting the event.
On October 2, our Executive Director, Piya, was live on CNBC Asia's Squawk Box, talking about Hong Kong's protection system and calling for improvements to be made in collaboration with civil society. Watch her full interview here
On September 30, the Government announced the result of a wage review for migrant domestic workers, with wages rising by just 2.4%. Our Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Victoria Wisniewski Otero, spoke to the SCMP in the lead up to this. Our report, Coming Clean, launched earlier this year established that 57.7% of domestic workers receive less than the minimum wage.
Attend our lunchtime panel discussion
RSVP today to attend this exciting panel discussion with Jamie Kerr, a specialist in immigration and asylum law from Scotland, and our own Senior Legal Advisor, Adam Severson, at 1pm on Friday, October 14. Places are limited, so RSVP to johnson@justicecentre.org.hk by 3pm on Thursday, October 13 to secure your spot! This talk is generously hosted by LexisNexis Hong Kong.
CoCo Drinks: Anti-Human Trafficking
On October 28, Jade Anderson, Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator and co-author of our report Coming Clean, will be speaking at Community Connect Drinks about the report, the stories behind it and the prevalence of forced labour and human trafficking in Hong Kong. For more information, check out the Facebook event
Support our fundraisers!
Sponsor Trish and her team as they trek a whopping 55km across Lantau later this month to raise funds to support our work! Justice Centre relies entirely on donations to provide life saving legal and psycho-social services to refugees in Hong Kong. With your help, we can do more.
Sponsor Run for Justice!
On November 12, refugees will race in a 12km run with staff and volunteers from Justice Centre and Free to Run to raise awareness and funds for our joint rehabilitation programme. Cheer them on and sponsor the team today

VACANCIES

We currently have vacancies for a self-funded Fellowship position in our Protection Claimant Services team and for a Communications intern.
Please spread the word in your networks!
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Justice Centre Hong Kong
18/F, 202 Centre
202-204 Des Voeux Road West
Sai Ying Pun
Hong Kong

Telephone: (+852) 3109 7359
Email: info@justicecentre.org.hk






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