Right of Asylum

HK a 'hard place' for asylum seekers

The recognition rate of asylum seekers in Hong Kong is unacceptably low compared to Western countries, a local aid group said ahead of World Refugee Day today.

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am

Asylum seeker beats odds for college

An African student who arrived in Hong Kong as a penniless 15-year-old unable to speak a word of English has taken up a university place in Australia after an astonishing turnaround in his fortunes.

22 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Time to sign the UN convention

Hong Kong prides itself on being a fair and caring society. We strive to provide equal opportunities for all and offer protection to those who cannot take care of themselves. But our safety net for the underprivileged and vulnerable has often been criticised as being too narrow, and the plight of refugees stranded in the city is a clear example.

3 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Refugee status fight will go to top court

Three Africans claiming refugee status won permission to mount a challenge in the top court yesterday.

They will fight a ruling that the government is not bound by an international principle that a person should not be returned to a place where his safety might be in peril.

15 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Asylum seekers stuck in slow lane

Protection of fundamental rights and adherence to the rule of law are core values. We strive to ensure everyone in society is treated fairly, regardless of status, race or nationality. To do so, robust institutional safeguards have been made - and there are appeal channels for the aggrieved who want to seek redress.

27 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Asylum seekers' appeal dismissed

An appeal for the government to process asylum seekers, which took the Court of Appeal more than 17 months to rule on, ended in a dismissal yesterday.

Asylum seekers currently either seek refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or they apply to the Immigration Department for classification as genuine torture claimants.

22 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

A fair hearing for torture claimants

Nearly 20 years after adopting the United Nations Convention against Torture, Hong Kong still lacks a legal framework for screening asylum seekers who invoke its protection. Meanwhile, an administrative system for assessing their claims has accumulated a backlog of 6,700 appeals; about 170 new cases are added a month. That invites abuse by bogus claimants and is unfair to genuine ones.

17 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Bill tabled to assess asylum-seekers' torture claims

The government has finally tabled a proposed law to assess asylum-seekers' claims of torture, but is reluctant to include other types of refugee-seekers in the procedure.

14 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

HK must sign UN convention now

Hong Kong is a natural draw for people seeking a better life. A healthy, free-wheeling economy, easy access from most parts of the world and a liberal visa regime make an appealing mix for people from all walks of life, their intentions legitimate, lawful or otherwise.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

Victims again

The Hong Kong government's policy towards asylum seekers and refugees is failing to provide them with the basic humanitarian assistance and opportunities they need, ensuring the continuing vulnerability of this group. Women and children are particularly at risk.

27 May 2011 - 12:00am

Seeking a safe haven in our city

Imagine yourself in the shoes of Syaheeda, a girl living in war-torn Somalia. One day you witness your entire family - parents, grandmother, and siblings - killed before your eyes. You run away as fast as your legs can take you to avoid being killed yourself. But now you're a homeless orphan.

25 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Open and shut cases

The Hong Kong government, in its treatment of asylum seekers, is apparently trying to be humane. However, the effect of its policy is the exact opposite of what it intends, rewarding those who are most undeserving, and harming those who are most deserving. Why?

14 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Rights expert condemns city

A world expert on refugee rights has condemned the city's lack of a legal framework governing asylum seekers.

2 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Appeal judge backs asylum seekers taken to court for working

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that asylum seekers and torture claimants should have immunity from being prosecuted for illegally remaining in Hong Kong until their requests for refuge have been decided.

1 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Charges against refugees within policy, court told

The government yesterday said it had acted within the law when it charged dozens of refugees and torture claimants who had allegedly been working while remaining illegally in the city, saying the court should overturn an earlier ruling to the contrary.

28 Apr 2010 - 12:00am