Marchers demanding fairer treatment for refugees under UN convention accuse the government of psychological torture
October 24 2012 - In: Hong Kong NGO's, Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, Immigration Department, International Social Services (ISS), Refugee Application Problems, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) webmaster
October 24 2012 - In: Hong Kong Authorities, Hong Kong NGO's, Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, Immigration Department, International Social Services (ISS), Refugee Application Problems, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) webmaster
October 2 2012 - In: Christian Action, Hong Kong Authorities, Hong Kong NGO's, Immigration Department, International Social Services (ISS), Police, Refugee Application Problems, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) webmaster
In connection with what has been stated by vision first regarding what is happen to the (CAT CLAIMANTS ) under the reason for the match for protection, we want to further explain that, most of the asylum seekers in Hong Kong are totally confused whether to go and sign at the recognizance office or not after their cases are rejected.
Simply because, many of their colleagues have been victimized when attempts were made to still go and sign as required by the immigration. Further more, Hong Kong immigration have decided to put different cases in one basket to be handled or treated under one unjustifiable reasons as all are economic asylum seekers meanwhile they are refusing to recognize that some asylum seekers have been kept in Hong Kong without any progress for their future for many years ranging from 2004 to 2006.
No further education, No way to acquire any skills or vocation and if the above groups have found themselves in to this situation and are still in Hong Kong, tell me will you still consider them as economic asylum seekers?
Why are they still in Hong Kong even though they have found themselves into the above situations? This means they really have problems in their home countries. We are therefore urging all empathizers of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong and other parts of the world to help so that the Hong Kong immigration to consider the above situations into critical analysis for consideration and to STOP putting the already detained cat claimants back to detention .
“March for Protection” on 30 October
Vision First and torture claimants call upon non-profit organizations, religious communities and persons concerned with the rights and well being of Hong Kong refugees to participate in a ‘March for Protection’ on 30 October 2012. Together we voice our concern about the ZERO PER CENT recognition rate of torture claimants by Hong Kong immigration authorities; a subject that touches on broader issues of public concern.
Hong Kong is proud of its world city status, its rule of law and respect of human rights. The territory is a signatory of the 1984 UN “Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (CAT) for which an administrative screening mechanism was established in June 2004 and enhanced in December 2009. For the past three years Vision First has closely monitored the screening results of the Immigration Department’s Torture Claim Assessment Section.
We notice that despite several procedural improvements, such as the provision of legal representation, the screening mechanism is not free of flaws. Under the new system, the Immigration Department evaluated over 3,000 torture claims and rejected 2,224 cases as of 31 August. To date the Immigration Department has found no torture claim substantiated, compared with a 20% recognition rate in most democracies. Out of about 11,900 cases lodged since 2004, only one case was successful, and that was in May 2008 following court intervention. It is our understanding that the administrative procedures take about 2–3 months to conclude: that is, claimants are heard and rejected in about twelve weeks, and then detained for removal to the country where the claimant said torture is faced. These results appear statistically skewed to support Immigration’s bias that ALL asylum seekers are effectively abusing the asylum system.
Rushed, summary administrative proceedings with 100% rejection rate speak for themselves. Can it be that out of almost 12,000 claims only one person had a credible claim to fearing torture? Vision First is gravely concerned about the mathematical impossibility of a ZERO RECOGNITION RATE, which might be construed as a lack of government will to recognize torture victims. This situation clearly falls short of public expectations of fair torture screening.
Vision First stands with concerned CAT claimants to respectfully ask the Government the question, “Can Hong Kong’s Government honestly assert that over a three year period, a statistical 0% of torture claims should be recognized?”
Facts lead us to believe that the current CAT system does not reflect a protection policy, but rather a rejection mechanism. This mechanism heaps procedural violence on already vulnerable and suffering people. It also severely calls into question the Government’s capacity to properly handle human rights at a time when the voice of Hong Kong people often goes unheard by their leaders. We urge the Government to consider the plight of those who have been rejected or are doomed to be hastily refused legitimate protection.
We are at a critical time when this untenable situation must be addressed before refugees who have sought sanctuary in Hong Kong suffer irremediable harm. This is a matter of great and general public concern, first, to limit the aftermath of questionable rejections of torture and, second, because we must strive to create a just and more compassionate society — in the interest of all people living in Hong Kong.
Date: 30 October 2012 – Police notice of no-objection has been issued
Time: 2PM till 5PM – download flyer here
Starting point: Star Ferry, Central Piers (Hong Kong side)
Destinations: Legislative Council Building and Immigration Tower
Objective: present petition to President of Legislative Council and Director of Immigration
July 13 2012 - In: Christian Action, Hong Kong Authorities, Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, Immigration Department, Physical Abuse, Refugee Application Problems, Social Life in Hong Kong, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) webmaster
FEAR AND PANIC ASYLUM SEEKERS UNDER PRESSURE IN HONG KONG
This is a new system that has been adopted by Hong Kong Immigration according to series of analysis made recently when many of our colleagues were RE-ARRESTED after suffering series of detention and prison Punishment as a result of OVERSTAY in Hong Kong . Currently, there are about one hundred (100) asylum seekers who are still facing the above mentioned situations under Hong Kong Immigration ,simply because their cases have been closed . (FORCE DEPORTATION. part I)
This website contains the words of asylum seekers in Hong Kong. There are some 7000 recognized asylum seekers in Hong Kong; most are from South Asia or Africa. Asylum seekers, upon entry into Hong Kong, often turn to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which has an office in the city, to declare themselves as asylum seekers. Many asylum seekers also turn to the Hong Kong government to file claims, since Hong Kong is a signatory of the Convention Against Torture.
Claims often take three or more years to evaluate. Once they have surrendered themselves to immigration authorities and emerged from a brief period of detention, asylum seekers can obtain from the Hong Kong government minimal rental assistance and groceries each month. On this amount it is possible to survive, but only barely.
Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in Hong Kong, although some do anyway since it is so difficult to survive otherwise. Asylum seekers’ dream is to obtain refugee status in another country, most typically Canada or the United States; but very few are able to attain this status. Meanwhile, they wait, and wait, and wait, forbidden to use their skills to benefit the society they find themselves in. This website tells their stories.
This is a story of one asylum seeker from Cameroon. He was seeking political asylum in Hong Kong under the UNHCR since 2005. His case was rejected, and finally was closed in 2005. And he was arrrested by the Hong Kong immigration and detained for almost a year.
When he was bailed out, we found that he had changed. He was psychologically changed. He was not the same person we used to know. He was depending on the church, until he decided to go home, because his case was rejected from UNHCR and then was no outcome from Hong Kong immigration on his CAT case. Eventually, he left, to face the consequences that waited for him at home.
Before the end of the year 2011, news reached us in Hong Kong that he was dead. He was a good person, friendly. He was our classmate here in the Christian Action globalization class. He was here in Hong Kong for protection, but they couldn’t protect him.
The rest of the African communities here in Hong Kong send our condolences to his family.
I ask myself, what was the cause of his death. I don’t know.
This issue has become very necessary to be published after going through horrible conditions as victims of circumstances through asylum seeking in Hong Kong for many years now. Ranging from four (4) t o fifteen (15) years. I f history of asylum seeking is to be talked about, the above mentioned years group are the real groups who would be able to explain the difficulties face during those days , for example, no any basic necessities provided. One has to survive through your own means .
Let us go back to the issue or the situation that has motivated some self terminated domestic helper in HK to become over stayed prostitutes. everybody in Hong Kong knows the conditions attach if any domestic help is to sign a contract and work in Hong Kong for example that is, to stay with the employer and some holidays with in a month eventually, many domestic helpers became arrogant before their employers simply because, some freedom has been created for them and that is, claim torture for one thousand ($1000 hkd) for rent, food supply every ten days etc.
Under these kind of hopes, many self terminated domestic helpers more especially those from Indonesia have taken this advantage to terminate their contract under any slighted misunderstanding with their employers. Due to the above mentioned hopes, they became voluntary over stayers under convention against torture. On the other hand, most of them became sex workers as a result of convention against torture (CAT) innocent children were born out of these situation that has increased the number of asylum seekers in Hong Kong.
WHO IS TO BLAME WHO?