Poverty hits mainland children in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2012, 1:44pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2012, 1:50pm

Poverty afflicts more than one-third of the children in mainland families that move to Hong Kong, according to a study released on Thursday.

In families with one parent from the mainland, 37.2 per cent of children lived under the poverty line, said Professor Chou Kee-lee, associate head of the Department of Asian and Policy Study at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

When both parents are from the mainland, 42 per cent of the children live in poverty, he found.

Chou used government figures for his study and set his poverty line at one-half the city’s median income. For a four-person family, the poverty line is HK$13,250.

Speaking at a press conference, Chou called on the government to offer a subsidy of HK$1,000 a month to all children living under the poverty line – whether local people or mainlanders.

The government should also offer 15 years of free education, he said.