hong kongs silent crisis migrants struggles and the urgent call for human rights advocacy
In recent years, Many Changes have happened in Hong Kong due to the national security law by Beijing. This controversial legislation has affected the freedom of expression, the rule of law.
Unseen Impact on Marginalized Communities
While much attention has been given to broader issues, the struggles of marginalized communities, including migrant workers, asylum-seekers, refugees, and children, have been overlooked. These groups have lost advocates, civil society support and political representation. Which leaves them vulnerable in the face of these difficult changes.
UN Human Rights Review
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN for China is scheduled for January 23. This review occurs every 4 1/2 years to assess the human rights performance of member states. The last review in 2018 resulted in successful recommendations for Hong Kong, thanks to active participation from civil society.
Civil Society’s Advocacy
For the upcoming UPR cycle, civil society has lobbied member states, with a majority of pro-democracy submissions emphasizing national security concerns and the decline of the rule of law in Hong Kong. However, the question arises: Can realistic changes be expected in China’s national security strategy through pressure from UN member states?
Systemic Challenges for Migrants
New studies from the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice show that migrant communities in Hong Kong are dealing with big problems. The report, titled “Unseen struggles: Addressing migrant rights in Hong Kong,” talks about issues like not having enough money, not having a place to live, and not getting the important services like going to the doctor or going to school
Struggles of Migrant
The research underscores the challenges faced by migrant domestic workers, essential to Hong Kong’s economy. Many from the Philippines and Indonesia experience overwork, abuse, exploitation, and poor living conditions. Legal frameworks often keep them in low-income roles with limited opportunities.
Hardships for Asylum-seekers
Asylum-seekers and refugees fleeing persecution confront a hostile environment in Hong Kong, including sub-standard living conditions, healthcare barriers, employment restrictions, and the risk of detention.
Refugees often face immigration detention in poor conditions with no independent oversight. Limited access to support and legal advice makes it challenging for detainees to challenge their incarceration.
Marginalization of Children in Migrant Communities
Children in migrant communities are equally marginalized and facing barriers to adequate education. Visa restrictions and working conditions often lead to the separation of migrant domestic workers’ children from their parents. Refugee children experience limited healthcare
The shrinking of civil society over the past four years, fueled by the National Security Law. The restrictive political climate has silenced the press and limited engagement with the government and the UN.
Urgent Need for International Advocacy With the challenges faced by those in Hong Kong to stand up for human rights, especially for migrant communities, international pressure on member states becomes crucial.