“When the choice of escaping to Hong Kong came along, it seemed like a dream” recalls Sharon. But several years later she is bitterly disappointed. The mother fled her country due to unspeakable violence suffered by one of her children. A professional, but also a widow, the authorities failed to protect her from powerful abusers determined to shut her mouth – one way or another.
Over the past years Sharon learned that asylum protection in Hong Kong is granted to less than 1% of claimants, the few who meet unrealistically high standards of proof. But the ways of the world are complex and its wicked currents sweep away many unable to document their plunge.
With an inhumane pincer movement, HK government oppresses refugees with insufficient welfare as well as stiff jail terms with the stated goal of “avoiding a magnet effect” as if slapping every student in class will prevent scoundrels from joining! Frankly that turns refugees into beggars. We don’t have enough money for rent and food. We are provide no clothes, shoes, hygiene products (shaving cream, sanitary pads and diapers for example), glasses, household items and phones. We are given one roll of toilet paper a month…
We need your help not because we are unfit to make a living or lazy, but because we sought asylum in #hongkong and are condemned to live in poverty with one hand tied behind our back.
We have been unable to open a society’s bank account, so donations are channeled through “Drink For Justice”, a registered charity that disburses financial aid to refugee families.
You donation will make a tangible difference in our life. You are welcome to visit our centre to learn more and perhaps sponsor a refugee family to learn what is needed and how money is spent.
Please WhatsApp 98287176 and share with your friends. Thank you
“What’s going on?” you might be thinking.
Please take a few minutes to walk in our shoes.
We refugees (called Unified Screening Mechanism or USM claimants in Hong Kong) are banned from working under Section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance. We sign a document agreeing to this restriction when we are released from detention.
The case that sets the sentencing tariff is “Usman Butt HCMA 70/2010″. https://bit.ly/393HHVD The starting point is 22.5 months after trial, 15 months after 1/3 discount for guilty plea. it is usually followed by weeks/months in Immigration detention.
One of our female members was recently released from jail for working illegally. She went straight to Yuen Long to pick up her two children who had been taken in by a Refugee Union member.
The Government provides us with insufficient assistance, namely: $1500 rent, $1200 food coupons, $300 utilities and $200 transportation – for a total of HK$ 3,200 per month. There has been no increase since January 2014.
The Government claims it is sufficient to prevent refugees from working. We call this the “BIG LIE” because there is no provision for clothes, shoes, haircuts, SIM cards, shaving cream, lady products, baby products or toilet paper … you get the picture!
What about the big expenses everyone pays in Hong Kong? Rent and rental deposits for example. The cheapest, windowless, 10 m², rundown, subdivided room costs $4000. Two refugees can share a room but they only receive $3000 for rent.
Yesterday two refugee ladies came to the office. They were homeless but had located a room in Yau Ma Tei for $4500. They were distressed because to raise $1500 they both had to ” .” The Refugee Union provided the cash.
You might think it is just an example with shock value, but to walk in our shoes means sharing our challenges and worries. “How to get money?” is a daily preoccupation, one we bare stoically because we are responsible for ourselves and our families.
The Refugee Union helps us with its limited resources. It is the only NGO that hands out cash to refugees. Now you can help us directly by donating cash to “Drink For Justice” – a registered charity that pass 100% of your donations to us. https://bit.ly/3bUe0YJ
If you have questions or want to speak to us, please contact us through WhatsApp 9828 7176 or come directly to the office at
3/F., 102 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.