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Asylum seekers in Asia

Time for Hong Kong to give refugees a fair shot at a better life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 4:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 4:11pm

I am writing in response to the article, “Racism is alive and well in Hong Kong, but there’s growing sympathy for refugee children” (April 19).

Most refugees who come to Hong Kong in search of a better life must rely on welfare stipends and charity. The law does not allow them to get a job, even low-skilled ones such that of a waiter or security guard. There is no chance for them to improve their lot.

Therefore, I welcome the fact that more than half of Hongkongers want refugee children to be given right of abode. Hundreds of children of asylum seekers are stateless in Hong Kong, even if they were born here. Having the right of abode would give them a sense of belonging and they can become valuable future citizens. 

As Hongkongers, we have the right to work and strive for a better life, while the refugee can only wait. We should help refugees find their feet, by giving them more opportunities and educational help.

The government should ease restrictions and provide more resources to them. If refugees can receive respect and opportunities from Hong Kong, they can have a beneficial influence on the city. 

Jacky Sit, Tseung Kwan O