The Refugee Union is gravely concerned about the tightening of security around refugees in Hong Kong. This only serves to worsen the conditions we suffer when applying for protection in the city. On 4 October 2018 a group of Refugee Union leaders submitted a petition to the Security Bureau ahead of a meeting of the Panel on Security (Legco) on the subject.
We stongly hope that the rights of refugees in Hong Kong will be protected while the Immigration Department improves the screening process (USM) by producing more credible results than the current 1% acceptance rate for the past decade.
The proposed tightening policy will pose a detrimental impact on the lives of refugees. We therefore stand against the proposal and call for humanitarian treatment by the Hong Kong Government. We hope that lawmakers and Government officials appreciate that no one leaves their home country unless their home is in the mouth of a shark.
We sincerely hope the Panel on Security will consider our needs and uphold the humanitarian virtues of Hong Kong.
One of the biggest issues acutely affecting asylum seekers in Hong Kong is the city’s stark economic inequality. Rent and food prices hit asylum seekers especially hard because of the inadequate housing and food vouchers received from International Social Service (ISS-HK) an NGO funded by the Hong Kong government. Asylum seekers receive only HK $1,200 per month in food vouchers (HK $40 a day for all 3 meals), and HK $1,500 per person for rent paid directly to the landlord. These amounts are impossibly low for any person trying to survive in Hong Kong. For asylum seekers, whose applications for refugee status in Hong Kong can take years, even over a decade, to process, many have no choice but to seek income when trying to adequately support themselves, or their families in Hong Kong.