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22 Jun 2017

Poverty in Hong Kong: Update on Current Issues

A closer look at the root causes of poverty in Hong Kong and what can be done by governments and businesses to alleviate it

Description

Hong Kong - one of the wealthiest places in the world, has a sizeable poverty problem that over 1.34 million of its citizens are living below the official poverty line. Since 1997, Hong Kong’s gross domestic product had grown by an accumulated 82%, employment had gone up by 20%, while the monthly incomes of full-time employees had risen by nearly 70%. Yet, the city’s shameful poverty rate stood at 14.3% in 2015. According to Forbes, the wealthiest 50 people in Hong Kong had a total wealth of HK$1890 billion as of Aug 2016, which was 1.37 times more than the HK$1380 billion in government reserves as of June 2016. Elderly poverty is the most serious among poverty issues, followed by intergenerational poverty and working poverty. The city’s income disparity has hit alarming levels, and leaving them unaddressed may lead to social unrest on a historic scale.

Join the upcoming Responsible Business Meeting 3 (joint Community Builders Meeting) to look closer into Hong Kong's hidden poverty problems. In this meeting, participants will learn from experts about the root causes of poverty in our city, hear the latest report on public attitudes towards poverty, and understand how the government, society, and business sector can work together to formulate a multifaceted approach to find solutions to Hong Kong’s most pressing social issue.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Understanding of the structural reasons for poverty in Hong Kong, the trends, ie is poverty getting worse?
  • Learn about the work of the Commission for Poverty and its strategy/ plans
  • Learn from Oxfam’s latest research report on public attitudes towards poverty in Hong Kong
  • Integration of knowledge and handling of complex social issue of inequality and income disparity

Event Speakers

  • Dr. C. K. Law

    Dr. C. K. Law

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    Associate Professor, Dept. of Social Work & Social Admin, The University of Hong Kong
  • Kalina Tsang

    Kalina Tsang

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    Head of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Programme, Oxfam Hong Kong
  • Fern Ngai

    Fern Ngai

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    CEO, Community Business

Associate Professor, Dept. of Social Work & Social Admin, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. C. K. Law

Dr. C.K. Law (J.P., S.B.S., G.B.S.), Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, serves in HKU since 1981. He has broad research interests including various areas of social policies (welfare, health, labour, housing and education). He is regularly engaged by many government bureaux and departments as consultant and advisor. He was co-founder of the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association and he serves as board member in a number of NGOs, including Caritas HK, HK Christian Service, Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association.
He was a Legislative Council member (1995-97, 1998-2004). He is currently the Chairman of the Community Care Fund Task Force, member of the Commission on Poverty, Statistics Advisory Board and Commission on Strategic Development of the HKSAR government.

Head of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Programme, Oxfam Hong Kong

Kalina Tsang

Ms Kalina Tsang has worked for Oxfam Hong Kong since 2002, and is now the Head of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Programme. She pioneered ESG research and advocacy work in Oxfam Hong Kong and was the lead of the agency on private sector issues with Oxfam International. She is also the major spokesperson and advocates of Oxfam campaigns in Hong Kong addressing both local and global poverty issues. Over the past decade, she led the teams to contribute to impressive pro-poor policy change on issues like the establishment of the first poverty line in HK, new subsidy scheme for low-income families, minimum wage legislation for working poor and Chinese language education policies and programmes for deprived ethnic minorities’ children etc. She also contributed to Oxfam global campaigns like Make Trade Fair Campaign, Corporate Social Responsibility and Labour Rights, GROW and Food Justice as well as the latest Global Inequality Campaign.

CEO, Community Business

Fern Ngai

Fern Ngai is Chief Executive Officer of Community Business, a Hong Kong based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing responsible and inclusive business practices in Asia. Fern joined Community Business in October 2012 and is responsible for leading the organisation into its next stage of growth.
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.

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