Children may be trapped in SAR

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 May, 1999, 12:00am

Mainland children allowed to stay in Hong Kong by the court ruling might be trapped and unable to return home.

China Travel Service said children born on the mainland and with Hong Kong identity cards also had to produce a one-way permit if they wanted to apply for a home-visit permit.

But at least 700 mainlanders who have obtained identity cards as a result of the Court of Final Appeal's ruling on January 29 came to Hong Kong illegally or on a two-way permit. Community organiser of the Society for Community Organisation Sze Lai-shan said the total number of people could increase to 2,000.

A spokeswoman for China Travel Service said these people could apply for a temporary home-visit permit with their two-way permits or a letter to explain how they had come to Hong Kong.

'But applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis,' she explained.

'People who have been issued with the document can then go to China to cancel their household registration and apply for another temporary permit to return to Hong Kong with the mainland authorities.

'They could then apply for the Home Visit Permit with the temporary document issued by the mainland authorities.' But Ms Sze said their organisation had not heard of any successful cases, with many people not daring to apply for the temporary permit for fear of being unable to return to Hong Kong.

'There should be better co-ordination between the mainland and Hong Kong Government,' she said.