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 April 2016 Newsletter

Dear friends,

I am delighted to let you know that last week, a family we have assisted were finally granted refugee status. Our lawyers have worked with these refugees intensively during the long legal process. We are all too aware that like many, they would face the serious risk of harm in their countries of origin. As Hong Kong has not signed the Refugee Convention, there is still a long way to go before they are resettled to a third country after which they can start to rebuild their lives again, but we will continue to support them throughout this process.
 
We want to share this great news with you - it is cause for celebration. But we are mindful that this is a result that we should see much more often. Despite the traumas that our protection claimants have survived, and the risks that they continue to face in their countries of origin, the vast majority receive a negative decision on their case. The statistics on this are alarming - since the start of the Unified Screening Mechanism in March 2014, to 31 March 2016, the Hong Kong Government gave non-refoulement protection to just 0.6% of those seeking protection.  This remains one of the lowest rates of acceptance in the developed world. The quality and level of fairness in the decision-making process is therefore in need of considerable improvement, and we will continue to advocate for this, with your valuable support.

Warmly,

Isaac Shaffer
Protection Claimant Services Manager


 

Quick links

Highlights in April

Justice Centre in the News

What You Can Do

Job Vacancies

APRIL HIGHLIGHTS

Joint statement: stop discrimination against refugees

UN workshop: torture and child rights experts 

On April 11, Justice Centre, along with almost 200 other local and international groups and prominent individuals, issued a statement calling for a stop to widespread discrimination against refugees in Hong Kong. The statement was issued at a press conference at the Legislative Council. NGOs, faith groups, lawyers, unions, academics and individuals from all around the world called for calm in the public debate and an end to discriminating language which is causing a high level of anxiety among this vulnerable population. The full statement can be found in English and Chinese on our website.

Our Executive Director, Piya Muqit, was invited to speak at a workshop organised by the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT) in Geneva on April 6-7, bringing together child rights experts and practitioners in the field of torture rehabilitation. Piya shared about our services to protect the rights of torture survivors seeking protection in Hong Kong and advocated the importance of UNVFVT funding for our work. Read Piya’s public address here and find out more information about the workshop here.

Anti-human trafficking: diplomatic and business communities

Refugees running for justice

As part of our advocacy work following the launch of our report “Coming Clean”, we have engaged the diplomatic and business communities on issues of human trafficking and forced labour amongst migrant domestic workers. 13 diplomatic missions joined our closed-door Roundtable event, generously hosted by Macquarie, and over 150 representatives from the legal and banking sectors attended an event  organised by Clifford Chance, one of our pro bono partners.  

Congratulations to the refugees participating in our running programme with Free to Run who completed a 30 km Country of Origin race across mountainous and muddy terrain! This is a fantastic accomplishment after months of training, boosting their mental and physical well-being through the process.

‘Out of Context’ by Li Po Chun United World College

Amnesty International x HK Community Connect: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Thank you to the wonderful students of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong who invited our Public Engagement Coordinator, Zamira, to speak at their event 'Out of Context' on April 10, along with ‪refugee speaker, Marie (name changed). The event included a photo exhibition to raise awareness of refugee rights in Hong Kong.

On April 29, Amnesty International Hong Kong and HK Community Connect held a collaborative event on the topic of refugees and asylum seekers, featuring talks by our Public Engagement Coordinator, Zamira, along with a refugee speaker, and Mark Daly from human rights law firm Daly & Associates. There was a great turnout, and some fantastic discussions were had. Looking forward to future collaborations! Photo credit: Amnesty International Hong Kong/Rachel Cheung

The joint statement that Justice Centre issued, along with 200 other groups and individuals, garnered widespread attention across English and Chinese media. Read up on the pieces by South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, HK Magazine, Ming Pao and InMedia, to name a few. 

Fundraise

The Justice Conference Asia

Thank you to staff from LexisNexis who hiked along the Dragon’s Back last week and raised over HK$3000 to support our work.  

Fundraising for Justice Centre is fun and easy. There are so many ways to fundraise. Contact us to request resources and support to organise your fundraiser today.  

On May 14, our Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Victoria Wisniewski Otero, will be jointly leading a workshop at The Justice Conference Asia on the findings of our groundbreaking report, 'Coming Clean'. This unmissable event brings together speakers on justice issues across the world, and gives you tangible ways to make a difference in your own community. Tickets are just HK$415.75 and are available here. See you there!

VACANCIES

We are currently recruiting for a Head of Fundraising and Development and a Communications Consultant. Please spread the word in your networks!
 
Do you speak Somali, Pashto, Tigrinya, Amharic, Tamil, Sinhala, Wolof or Bangla? Or know someone who does? Consider joining our team of interpreters who play an essential part in enabling refugees to access our services. 


 
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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