16/7/2013 'Hong Kong Relents Over Refugees' from 'The Wall Street Journal'

An article in The Wall Street Journal (attached pdf document), entitled ‘Hong Kong Relents Over Refugees’ (16/7/13), notes the announcement of the Hong Kong Government’s HK$450 million budget for 2013-14 to help create the unified system of processing for all asylum requests by the end of the year. This announcement comes on the back of the Court of Final Appeal’s decision, C & Ors, in March 2013. This article also highlights Hong Kong’s poor record in approving torture claimant cases (0.3%) and in relation to UNHCR, an approval rate closer to 10%. This is deemed to be ironic considering Hong Kong’s long history in embracing refugees post World War II. However, after the Vietnam War, Hong Kong sheltered hundreds of refugees and many claimed that this was a burden on society. The fallout from this, as mentioned by Daly & Associates lawyer, Ms Patricia Ho, in the article, was that ‘the population is a bit scarred from the Vietnamese experience, because it created a lot of social chaos’. Our firm will continue with our efforts to campaign for better and more comprehensive policies for asylum seekers.