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 June 2016 Newsletter

Dear friends,
 
June has been a month of reflection as we commemorated World Refugee Day and International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 20 and 26 respectively, marking important dates with events for our service-users and supporters.

On World Refugee Day we launched our first ever video campaign, generously produced by the creative team at Y&R digital advertising agency, challenging the viewer to take just a minute to listen to a refugee’s story and the harsh reality of seeking protection in Hong Kong. Life is not easy for ‪refugees‬ in Hong Kong, who have no right to work and survive on a minimal food and rental allowance while they wait anxiously for their protection claims to be assessed. Thank you to everyone who has shared the video on social or made a donation in response; if you haven’t yet, please do. Justice Centre does not receive any government or Community Chest funding, and relies entirely on donations. With your donation, we can expand our services and provide life-changing legal and psychosocial services to more refugees who urgently need our assistance. Your support will make a difference in the lives and refugees. All it takes is a minute to donate here.

On the anti-human trafficking front, the findings from our report Coming Clean were instrumental in the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report (released on June 30), assessing the performance of countries around the world in their efforts to tackle human trafficking. Coming Clean established, for the first time, the prevalence of human trafficking for the purpose of forced labour in Hong Kong amongst migrant domestic workers, of whom 1 in 6 are in forced labour. For the first time, the US State Department downgraded Hong Kong to Tier 2 watchlist, which means it has failed to make increased efforts to combat human trafficking from the prevention, protection and prosecution perspectives. The Hong Kong Government does not currently acknowledge that human trafficking is an issue, and we will continue to advocate for adequate policies to protect victims and prevent trafficking in HKSAR. 

Warmly,

Piya Muqit
Executive Director

Quick links

Highlights in June

Justice Centre in the News

What You Can Do

Job Vacancies

JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

Rock for Justice

Hearing of the UNCAT Report at Legco

Our live music event “Rock for Justice” on World Refugee Day was a great success and we were thrilled to see a large turnout at Orange Peel on the night. All funds raised will directly support our work with refugees here in Hong Kong. Our event would not have been possible without the bands who performed, event sponsors and raffle sponsors. Thank you once again.
The Panel on Security met on June 7 & 11 for the hearing of the HKSAR’s third report under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Justice Centre made a written submission as well as an oral statement to the panel, detailing our concerns and recommendations. One of our summer interns from Columbia Law School also wrote a blog post about his first LegCo experience.

20th Annual UNHCR NGO Consultations in Geneva

Psychosocial Support 

We are dedicated to influencing policy on forced migration issues in Hong Kong. We advocate for refugee rights not only domestically but also at the international level. Our Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Victoria, travelled to Geneva to represent us at the 20th Annual UNHCR NGO Consultations where she voiced our concerns to the UN Refugee Agency and connected with refugee organisations from all over the world.
Alongside our intensive legal assistance programme, we provide psychosocial support to the most vulnerable refugees. Chloe, our Psychosocial Programme Officer says, "My role is to enable traumatised refugees to cope with the process of telling their story and working with our lawyers. I also help them with their social and psychological needs. They need support to access social welfare, housing, education, a doctor or dentist to meet their basic needs".

Refugee Run

Refugee Runners Received an Award

We very much value the partnerships we have built with law firms and corporate partners and we believe that getting involved in our work is the key to a fruitful and rewarding partnership. On June 19, 33 of our pro bono lawyers participated in the Refugee Run simulation by Crossroads Foundation, a powerful experience giving participants a glimpse into what some refugees might be facing around the world today.
A massive congratulations to the fantastic team of refugee runners who received a special award at the Gone Running Hong Kong Trail Running Awards! These runners participate in our running and rehabilitation programme with Free to Run. We could not be more proud of their outstanding achievement! Thank you for voting for our refugee runners!

With World Refugee Day and the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture in June, we received great local and international media coverage. Our Executive Director, Piya Muqit, was interviewed by SCMP about her career in human rights and legal aid. Read other articles from Agence France Presse, Hong Kong Free Press and Mingpao here. Two of our staff also spoken on RTHK programmes Backchat and Newswrap.

Donate to Justice Centre

Looking for Office Space 

There are over 11,000 people seeking protection in Hong Kong, but we are currently only able to provide intensive legal and psychosocial support to just over 100 of the most vulnerable refugees. Please donate today to help us reach more refugees who urgently need assistance. Your support can make a life-changing difference.
Justice Centre is looking for office space where our small team can work and meet with the refugees we work with. Any offers of office space free of charge are welcome! Please get in touch if you have any leads. 

VACANCIES

We currently have vacancy for a self-funded Fellowship position in our Protection Claimant Services team. Please spread the word in your networks!

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Contact us
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