28 Feb 2017
Hong Kong’s Refugee Challenge - What Businesses Need to Know
An overview of the refugee situation in Hong Kong and a closer look at what businesses can do to help
There has been a concerning increase in people seeking asylum around the world, including in Hong Kong where it is estimated that there are around 11,000 asylum seekers.
Hong Kong is not a signatory of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and does not officially recognise anyone as a ‘refugee’. Asylum seekers can spend years waiting to be resettled to another country. While they are waiting for their claims to be screened, they are in limbo – unable to work, do not receive any protection, and need to survive on a HK$3,000 monthly allowance. Under Hong Kong’s Unified Screening Mechanism, asylum seekers are rarely given adjudication of their asylum claims as refugees. In the last few years, there has been a backlash in the local media and by politicians against them, referring to Hong Kong’s “fake” refugee problem.
The refugee issue dramatically escalated in 2017 with US President Trump’s executive order denying entry to all refugees, plus people from 7 Muslim-majority countries. This reverberated worldwide causing chaos and confusion at US borders and in other countries, including Hong Kong, where refugees are awaiting resettlement to the US.
- Understand the challenges that refugees / asylum seekers are facing
- Understand the landscape – which organisations or public bodies are involved, as well as legal and social issues
- Reflect on how different stakeholders, including the business community, can improve the situation
- Explore ways for businesses to take action
Justin MurgaimoreDepartment Head, Christian Action
Lynette NammoreLegal Officer, Justice Centre Hong Kong
Fern NgaimoreCEO, Community Business
Department Head, Christian Action
Legal Officer, Justice Centre Hong Kong
CEO, Community Business
Under Fern’s leadership, Community Business has expanded its products and services, established a subsidiary in India, and has launched the LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index, the first and only benchmark for workplace inclusion practices and initiatives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees in Asia.
Fern has been actively involved in and passionate about corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion, in her voluntary role as Board Director of KELY Support Group, a Hong Kong charity dedicated to supporting young people, and in her previous roles at Standard Chartered Bank.