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.
World Refugee Day is celebrated every year on June 20th. This year, Refugee Union commemorated the day with the reminder that every day is World Refugee Day, and that refugees are people too.
Petition to Social Welfare Department
Members of Refugee Union delivered a petition to the Social Welfare Department in Wan Chai. The Department is in charge of supplies, such as food cards for Park n’ Shop, money to pay flat rent to landlords, Octopus cards for travel, and sanitary products for hygiene, which asylum seekers pick up each month. Because asylum seekers are not allowed to work while waiting for their refugee status claims to be processed by Hong Kong government, they must rely on these limited supplies to care for themselves and their families each month. Asylum seekers wait for years for their claims to be processed. The supply allotment is incredibly low in relation to the high cost of living in Hong Kong (for ex., one roll of toilet paper for each refugee, per month). Refugee Union called for supply allotments to be increased to reflect the reality of living in an expensive city like Hong Kong. We hope to receive a positive response from the Head Office, and that our struggle is not in vain.
Drink for Justice (DFJ)
“This month DFJ celebrated World Refugee Day with an exclusive and exciting lineup of local and international talents, arranged to delight us with comedy, music, dance, and the fine art of mixing drinks. At Employees Only Hong Kong, DFJ and Uncensored Cabaret joined forces to host a night of fine tunes, special cocktails and an epic open mic program!” Learn more at the DFJ event page.
Celebrating the Food and Recipes of Hong Kong’s Refugee Community
On June 23rd, Refugee Union joined forces with Table of Two Cities, Taste of Hope HK, Art Women, and Bite Unite to celebrate World Refugee Day. The event showcased the food and recipes of Hong Kong’s refugee community, with refugee-directed cooking demos of food from Sri Lanka, Togo, and Egypt. The greater Hong Kong community was invited to learn more about refugees’ experiences in Hong Kong through food, collaborative art, and conversation. The event was covered by Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), and you can read the HKFP article here.
Thank you Hong Kong community, for donations of shoes, sanitary products, and more this month. We also would like to express our gratitude to Ms. Lisa Pang, a donation coordinator whose team visited Refugee Union last week to connect through food and conversation.
Refugees request donations of laptops (clean, used in good condition), rice cookers (clean, used in good condition), diapers (new), and summer clothing (clean, used in good condition). We thank you again for your consideration!
Interested in volunteering or learning more about Refugee Union? Connect with us by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page.
May was a productive month at Refugee Union. From the members’ monthly meeting, to knitting classes, to the monthly fundraiser, Drink for Justice, members and friends of Refugee Union came together in solidarity and to raise awareness of refugee issues in Hong Kong. In addition, members of Refugee Union were invited to the West Island School last week where they connected with students over food and culture. Everyone worked together to prepare and enjoy dishes from Refugee Union members’ home countries. Thank you again to all who came out, donated, and participated in May events, and we look forward to celebrating World Refugee Day (June 20) next week. Every day is World Refugee Day!
On behalf of the families who participate in Cultural Diversity Playgroup, we would like to thank Disposable Soft Goods (DSG) LTD for their donation of Pet Pet baby diapers to Refugee Union families. Because the official monthly supply of diapers given to refugees and asylum seekers is woefully inadequate, this donation will enable families to maintain hygiene and take good care of their babies!
Refugee Union continues to welcome donations of baby diapers, rice cookers and laptops (used but in good condition is OK) for its members and their families. A big thank you to DSG, and to all donors. We hope to see you at next week’s Drink for Justice event (31 May)!