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JULY ROUNDUP  七月回顧

Aug 1st, 2022 | Monthly Roundup | Comment

This month Hong Kong experienced its hottest day of the year.  Many refugee families who live in small and hot subdivided flats thus came to our centre to enjoy the air conditioning service.  This piece reviews the activities that happened at our centre throughout the month.

七月是香港全年最熱的月份。在酷熱天氣下,很多難民家庭難耐居於狹小和侷促的劏房,紛紛到本會的辦公室避暑。本文回顧了本會於過去一個月舉辦的活動。

ABOUT US  關於我們

Refugee Union, founded in 2014, is the only refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong.  We have over 2,000 members from 20 countries, including 500 children.  Currently, our centre is based in Sheung Wan.  Being an union of and for refugees, we work with visions to safeguard refugee rights and improve the situation of refugees in Hong Kong.

難民聯會於2014年成立,是本港唯一由難民組成和領導的組織。本會現有超過2,000名註冊會員,他們來自20多個不同地區和國家。本會的現址位於上環。自成立以來,本會一直致力保障難民權益和改善本地難民社群的待遇。

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE  活動一覽

Although many of our activities are still suspended in view of the fluctuating epidemic condition, our centre continues to serve refugees in the city.  A series of fundraising and community engagement work are ongoing.

雖然本會大部份活動仍然因疫情反覆而暫停,本會的辦公室仍然開放並如常提供服務。一系列的籌募和社區參與工作亦籌備得如火如荼。

This month we were honoured to host Simon Mak and Nerris Lam at our centre.  They will be helping us on community engagement and fundraising affairs.  We greatly appreciated the support from Simon and Nerris.

本會有幸於本月下旬與Simon Mak和Nerris Lam會面。他們將協助本會推展有關籌募和社區參與的工作。本會衷心感謝Simon和Nerris的熱心幫忙。

High food prices keep creating a heavy burden on refugee families as they do not have enough money to get groceries.  Hence, we launched another fundraising campaign to help refugees buy food and necessities.  We sincerely ask for your support to the local refugee community.

本港生活成本高昂,物價飛漲,一直以來對難民家庭造成沉重的經濟壓力。本會於是發起另一項線上眾籌項目,協助本地難民家庭購買食物和必需品,懇請善心人士慷慨解囊。

GIVING IS A BLESSING  施比受更有福

While fundraising is ongoing, this month we received donations of wide-ranging items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all donors who lend us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  We promise to deliver all items we received to refugees who are in need.

過去一個月,本會獲社會上不少有心人捐贈物資,本會對此表示衷心感謝,並承諾將收集到的物資全數送到有需要的難民手中。

Please continue to support our centre and stay tuned to our website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for the updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at info@refugeeunion.org or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am–6pm).

請繼續關注本會的網站和社交媒體專頁 (FacebookInstagramTwitter) 以獲取本會發布的最新資訊,亦歡迎各位以電郵 (info@refugeeunion.org) 形式聯絡本會或親臨到訪 (辦公時間為星期一至六上午十時至下午六時)。

JUNE ROUNDUP 六月回顧

Jul 6th, 2022 | Monthly Roundup | Comment

With the epidemic in Hong Kong coming to an end, folk lives stepwise go back to normal.  This piece reviews the activities that happened at our centre last month.

隨着本港疫情漸見曙光,人們的生活有序回復往常。本文將回顧本會於過去一個月舉辦的活動。

About Us 關於我們

The Refugee Union was founded in 2014 and is the only refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong.  We have over 3,000 registered members and half of these are active members.  Currently, our centre is based in Sheung Wan.  As an union of and for refugees, we have always been working to safeguard refugee rights and improve the situation of refugees in Hong Kong.

難民聯會於2014年成立,是本港唯一由尋求庇護者和難民組成及領導的組織。本會現址位於上環,現有超過3,000名註冊會員,當中一半為活躍會員。本會一直致力於保障難民權益以及改善本地難民社群的狀況。

Activities at a Glance 活動一覽

20 June is World Refugee Day.  The United Nations General Assembly in 2000 designated the day as an international day with the aim of raising global awareness of refugee issues.

本月20日是世界難民日。聯合國大會於2000年將這一天定為國際節日,藉此希望喚起全球對難民議題的關注。

This year our partner Grassroots Future launched the first Refugee Week in Hong Kong to honour refugee resilience and raise awareness.  The campaign was featured by the Young Post.  Click here for more details.

今年本會的合作夥伴Grassroots Future舉辦了本港首個「難民週」。該活動旨在向難民致敬,同時藉此喚起港人對難民議題的關注。該活動獲Young Post報導,詳情請按此

On World Refugee Day, our volunteer Ka Wang Kelvin Lam wrote a short introduction about refugees in Hong Kong.  The article has been published on our website.  Click here to access the full article.

世界難民日當天,本會的志願者Ka Wang Kelvin Lam於本會網誌刊登了一篇文章簡述香港難民的狀況。請按此閱讀全文。

Our chairwoman, Namagambe Adella, was interviewed by Global Voices earlier.  Ms Adella shared her experience as a refugee woman in Hong Kong.  The article was out this month.  Click here to access the full article.

另外,本會主席Namagembe Adella早前接受Global Voices訪問。Adella女士分享了自己身為女性難民在香港的經歷。請按此閱讀全文。

Giving is a Blessing 施比受更有福

This month we received donations of abundant items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our generous donors who lend us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  We promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

本會於過去一個月獲善心人士捐贈海量物資,並對各位的慷慨解囊不勝感激。本會已將收集到的物資全數送到難民手上。

Please stay tuned to our website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for the updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at info@refugeeunion.org or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

請繼續關注本會的網站和社交媒體專頁 (FacebookInstagramTwitter) 以獲取本會及本地難民社群相關的最新資訊。亦歡迎各位以電郵 (info@refugeeunion.org) 形式聯絡本會或親臨到訪 (辦公時間:星期一至六上午10時至下午6時)。

Global Voices – Women refugee claimants are disenfranchised by gender-blind screening in Hong Kong

Jun 21st, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO REFUGEES IN HONG KONG 香港難民狀況簡介

Jun 20th, 2022 | Article | Comment

By: Ka Wang Kelvin Lam

文、譯:林家宏

Today (20 June) is World Refugee Day, when the global community comes together to honour refugees.  The United Nations General Assembly in 2000 designated the day as an international day with the aim of raising global awareness on refugee issues.  How much do you know about refugees in Hong Kong?

今天( 6 月 20 日)是世界難民日,在世界各地,人們齊聚一堂向難民致敬。聯合國大會於 2000 年將這一天定為國際節日,藉此希望喚起全球對難民議題的關注。你對香港的難民認識有多少呢?

            Today, forced displacement is one of the top global challenges.  Statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reveal that at the end of 2020, 82.4 million persons had been forcibly displaced worldwide because of conflict and persecution.  Nearly half of these refugees were displaced outside of their country of origin.  Many were from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan, and neighbouring regions such as Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda have hosted most of these refugees.[1]  Hong Kong is one of many places where forcibly displaced people take refuge.

            被迫流離失所的普及化是現今全球面臨的嚴峻挑戰。根據聯合國難民署(UNHCR)的統計數據顯示,全球截至 2020 年底已有 8,240 萬人口因衝突和迫害而流離失所。當中近一半人身處在原籍國以外。這些難民大部分來自敘利亞,阿富汗和南蘇丹,與此同時,鄰近地區如土耳其,巴基斯坦和烏干達接收了大部分難民。[1]  香港是許多被迫流離失所者尋求庇護的地方之一。

The International Refugee Regime and its Practice in Hong Kong
國際難民制度及其在香港的實踐

We often hear the terms ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘refugees’.  Asylum seekers and refugees are forcibly displaced persons seeking international protection.  In legal terms, asylum seekers are individuals who have applied for refugee status and are awaiting a decision on their claim.  After their refugee status has been substantiated, they may be resettled in a third country where the Refugee Convention applies.  Applicants whose refugee status is not substantiated will be repatriated.[2]  In this article, the term ‘refugees’ will be used to refer to both asylum seekers and refugees.

我們經常接觸到「尋求庇護者」和「難民」等詞彙,實際上,兩者都是指在國際上尋求保護的被迫流離失所者。在法律的層面上,尋求庇護者是其難民資格正在審核的人士。他們的難民身份一經確立便有機會獲重新安置到其他《難民公約》適用的國家,開展新生活。難民身份未獲確立者將被遣返。[2]  本文將以「難民」一詞概括尋求庇護者和難民。

            Hong Kong has been a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture since 1992, but it is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention.  Hence, Hong Kong does not host refugees and is only a ‘stopover’ for asylum seekers (who are awaiting a decision on their claim) and refugees (who are awaiting resettlement).  The Hong Kong government launched the Unified Screening Mechanism (USM) to process asylum claims in 2014.  Claims that are substantiated under the USM are referred to the UNHCR for determination.  The applicants are then resettled in third countries by the UNHCR.[3]

            香港於 1992 年加入《聯合國禁止酷刑公約》,但《難民公約》並不適用於本港。因此,香港不收容難民,其只是尋求庇護者於等候審核結果以及難民於等候重新安置期間的「中轉站」。香港政府於 2014 年推出統一審核機制(USM)處理庇護申請。經該機制審核並獲確立的申請將遞交聯合國難民署進行裁決,繼而為申請人進行重新安置。[3]

            Although refugees lodge a protection claim upon arrival in Hong Kong, many remain stranded in the city for decades because of prolonged legal processes.  Surprisingly, the substantiation rate for asylum claims in Hong Kong is less than one per cent per annum, despite a global average of 27 per cent.[4]

            由於漫長的法律程序,許多難民滯留香港長達數十年。同樣令人驚訝的是,香港對庇護申請的確立比率每年不足百分之一,遠低於全球平均的百分之 27。[4]

Refugees in Hong Kong staged a protest for their rights in 2015.  Photo: AFP.

香港的難民於 2015 年發起一項遊行集會,促請當局改善他們在港的待遇。圖:AFP

Lived Experience in Hong Kong as a Refugee
難民在香港的生活經歷

Currently, there are about 14,000 refugees in Hong Kong.  According to an informant of the Refugee Union, over 50 per cent of these are from South Asia, 30 per cent from Southeast Asia and 10 per cent from Africa.

目前有約 14,000 名難民滯留香港,據難民聯會的知情人士透露,當中過半數來自南亞地區,百分之 30 來自東南亞地區,以及百分之 10 來自非洲地區。

            Although Hong Kong is one of the most affluent cities in the world, the local refugee community is not given financial security.  For many refugees, the lived experience in Hong Kong is yet another struggle for survival.

            雖然香港是世界上富裕的地方之一,但本地難民社群的權益並未受到充分的保障,在經濟方面尤其如此。許多難民甚至每天都要掙扎求存。

            Why is this so?  Refugees in Hong Kong are normally not allowed to work and are solely reliant on a limited monthly stipend of HK$3,200 (US$408) to survive.  The stipend comprises a HK$1,200 food allowance, HK$1,500 rental subsidy, HK$300 for utilities and HK$200 for transport to official visits.  Children receive half of this amount.[5]  The stipend is subcontracted from the Social Welfare Department to the International Social Service Hong Kong (ISS-HK) for provision.  The value of this stipend is six times lower than the local median wage[6], and the stipend is far from adequate to survive in Hong Kong, one of the most expensive places in the world.  As one refugee stated, ‘even the cheapest windowless subdivided flat in Hong Kong costs HK$3,000.’  From the perspective of the Hong Kong government, the harsh refugee policy aims to avoid turning Hong Kong into a ‘magnet’ for economic migrants.

            這一切源於苛刻的難民政策。在香港,難民一般不獲准工作,只能以每月 HK$3,200(相當於 US$408)的津貼過活。該津貼由社會福利署委託香港國際社會服務社(ISS-HK)發放,包括 HK$1,200 的食物券、HK$1,500 的住屋津貼、HK$300 的雜費,以及 HK$200 的交通津貼。 小童只獲發一半的金額。[5]  該津貼的金額低於本地工資中位數的六倍[6],遠不足以負擔香港高昂的生活開支。一名難民曾告訴筆者:「在香港,就算是租住最便宜而且沒有窗戶的劏房也需要支付 HK$3,000。」可想而知,他們的生活實在是捉襟見肘。香港政府則辯稱,如此苛刻的難民政策是為了避免令本港淪為吸引經濟移民大量湧入的「磁鐵」。

            ‘There is no magnet, only destitution!’, we seem to hear the local refugee community crying.  At a glance, the refugee policy in Hong Kong is, as described by Vecchio and Ham[7], a punitive system that restricts refugees from any attempt at self-reliance and produces feelings of frustration and powerlessness.

            「只有貧窮,何來磁鐵!」我們彷彿聽到本地難民社群的控訴。簡而言之,香港的難民政策就如 Vecchio 和 Ham 所述的那樣[7],是一個懲罰性的制度,它限制了難民自力更生的機會,並對他們施加不必要的挫敗和無力感。

Subdivided flats in Hong Kong.  Photo: Benny Lam.

香港的劏房。圖:Benny Lam

Crises Beget Opportunities
轉危為機

2014 was a turning point in the development of the refugee community in Hong Kong, when a group of refugees initiated the ‘Occupy’ protest and asked the Hong Kong government to improve the assistance available to them.  The protest consolidated the local refugee community and led to the formation of the Refugee Union, the first refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong.

2014 年是推動本地難民社群發展的一個轉折點。當年香港的難民發起了一項名為「佔領」的社會運動,他們要求香港政府加強對他們的援助。該運動團結了香港的難民,並促成了本地首個由難民領導的組織 —— 難民聯會 的成立。

Students from a local international school delivering an artwork class at the centre of Refugee Union.  Photo: Refugee Union.

本地一所國際學校的學生在難民聯會的辦公室教授藝術課。圖:難民聯會

           In recent years, the challenges facing the local refugee community have received greater attention.  Increasingly, people and groups in the neighbourhood are willing to lend them a hand.  Every day, the Refugee Union is filled with people, and refugee leaders share responsibility for the daily operation of the centre.  Teachers and students from local universities and international schools visit the centre and organise social and cultural activities, and representatives of charity and religious groups and corporations donate goods to the centre.

            近年來,本地難民社群面對的挑戰受到更多關注,繼而有更多來自社區的熱心人士和團體對他們伸出援手。難民聯會的辦公室每天都人來人往:本地大學和國際學校的師生經常到訪並在此舉辦各類社交和文化活動,亦有慈善和宗教團體,以及商界的代表到訪並捐贈物資。年資較長的難民則輪流擔任領袖以協助中心的日常運作。

            We expect that in the future, Hong Kong’s refugee community will continue to use refugee-led groups as key platforms to engage with other communities and participate in civil society.  On World Refugee Day, let us pray for world peace and honour the resilience of refugees.

            在可見的將來,我們預期香港的難民社群將繼續利用難民領導的組織所提供的平台與本地其他社群互動,以及參與公民社會。藉著世界難民日,讓我們一同祈求世界和平,並向難民的堅毅和對抗逆境的韌力致敬。

Extended Reading
延伸閱讀

F. Vecchio, Asylum seeking and the global city (New York: Routledge, 2015).

References
參考文獻

[1] UNHCR, ‘Global trends in forced displacement’ (2021), www.unhcr.org/flagship-reports/globaltrends.

[2] UNHCR, ‘Master glossary of terms’ (2021), www.unhcr.org/master-glossary.html.

[3] Immigration Department, ‘Making a claim for non-refoulement protection in Hong Kong’ (2021), www.immd.gov.hk/eng/useful_information/non-refoulement-making-claim.html.

[4] F. Vecchio and J. Ham, ‘From subsistence to resistance: Asylum-seekers and the other “Occupy” in Hong Kong’, Critical Social Policy 38, no.2 (2018), pp. 201–21.

[5] Vecchio and Ham, ‘From subsistence to resistance’.

[6] Census and Statistics Department, ‘Wages and labour earnings’ (2022), www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/scode210.html.

[7] Vecchio and Ham, ‘From subsistence to resistance’.

 

Refugee Week Events

Jun 12th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

📢 Announcing Grassroots Future’s agenda for 2022 Refugee Week 📢

本年度 (2022) Grassroots Future 世界難民日活動一覽

Join us for the first year Hong Kong is running Refugee Week with a series of online and in person events that engage with the this year’s theme of “healing”.本月20日是世界難民日。本港將舉辦首個「難民週」,主題為「復原」。

This year’s event series is co-organised by本年度難民週的主辦機構如下:Grassroots FutureUNHCR Hong Kong 聯合國難民署 (中國香港特別行政區辦事處)Justice Centre Hong KongBlessVision Foundation 幸福傳聲基金會 Branches of Hope 希望枝子RUN Hong KongWISE HK 睿動香港We hope you’ll join us between 20-26 June to celebrate achievements, talents and stories about starting again and healing.

Sign up via the link in bio or https://linktr.ee/refugeeweekhk歡迎您於本月20-26日參與難民週活動,讓我們一同向難民對抗逆境的勇氣致敬。詳情請見:https://linktr.ee/refugeeweekhk#refugeeweek2022#refugeeweek

MAY ROUNDUP 五月回顧

Jun 7th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

With Hong Kong’s fifth wave of outbreak coming to an end, everything in the city stepwise goes back to normal.  This roundup reviews activities that happened at our centre in the past month.

隨着本港第五波疫情漸見曙光,人們的生活有序回復往常。本文將回顧本會於過去一個月舉辦的活動。

About us 關於我們

The Refugee Union, founded in 2014, is Hong Kong’s only refugee-led organisation.  Currently, our centre is based in Sheung Wan.  Since our commencement of service, we have been working with visions to safeguard refugee rights and to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.

難民聯會於二零一四年成立,現址位於上環,是本港唯一由尋求庇護者和難民組成及領導的組織。自成立以來,本會一直致力於保障難民權益以及改善本地難民社群的待遇。

Activities at a glance 活動一覽

This month activities at our centre began to resume as the local epidemic condition improved.  On 25 May, volunteers of Grassroots Future organised a crochet workshop at our centre.  Refugee ladies learned DIY with joys in the event.

本月二十五日,Grassroots Future 的義工團隊到訪本會並為難民婦女舉辦了一個針織工作坊。參加者於活動後皆表示獲益良多。本會衷心感謝義工團隊的努力。

On 27 May, we were honoured to host teachers and students from the Glenealy School.  They visited our centre to learn more about the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong and sent us donations of items.

本月二十七日,己連拿小學 (Glenealy School) 的師生到訪本會,透過實地考察讓學生更深入了解本地難民社群的狀況。師生及後捐贈物資到本會,以行動支持本地難民社群。本會對此深表欣賞和謝意。

This month we were thrilled to be selected by the Hong Kong Arbitration Charity Ball (HKACB) as one of the beneficiaries.  The annual event aims at raising funds to support Hong Kong’s charities and to facilitate the development of arbitration in Asia.  The invite is a recognition of our service to the local refugee community.  Thank you.

本月下旬,本會非常榮幸獲邀出席本年度的香港仲裁慈善舞會。每年一度的香港仲裁慈善舞會為本地慈善機構籌款,並藉此推廣亞洲仲裁業的發展。本會將受益於本年度舞會的所得善款,在此衷心感謝主辦方對本會服務的認可。

Giving is a blessing 施比受更有福

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all generous donors for lending us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.

本會於過去一個月獲善心人士捐贈海量物資,對各位的慷慨解囊不勝感激。本會已將收集到的物資全數送到尋求庇護者和難民手上。

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for the most updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at info@refugeeunion.org or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

請繼續關注本會的官方網站和社交媒體專頁 (FacebookInstagramTwitter) 以獲取本會及本地難民社群相關的最新資訊。亦歡迎各位以電郵 (info@refugeeunion.org) 形式聯絡本會或親臨到訪 (辦公時間:星期一至六 上午十時至下午六時)。

Keep Refugee Union’s Center Running

Jun 1st, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

June 20 is World Refugee Day. We ask that you support refugees by supporting our campaign for Refugee Union’s Center.

Refugee Union is the first self-organized group in Hong Kong where refugees help refugees.  

We were registered as a society in 2014 to connect with Hong Kong residents and the community at large. We are comprised of over 2000 members from dozens of countries, including around 200 children. We mainly support families as they are the most vulnerable and in need of timely assistance.  

The Government provides a monthly welfare support of: $1500 for rent; $1200 for food; $300 for utilities and $200 for transport allowance to attend official appointments. This package remains unchanged since 2014 despite inflation rate.  

No support is provided for clothes, shoes, home fittings, cooking equipment, cleaning materials, medicines and phone re-charge. To find out more: https://refugeeunion.org/support/  

We therefore plead for your financial support to rent the centre for a second year so we may be able to continue serving our community. The survival of the centre and our services rely on donations that we receive. 

“Visiting the Refugee Union centre in Sheung Wan yesterday was both uplifting and humbling. The wonderful people there exuded joy, happiness, appreciation and kindness. We were inspired to support and help them on their life’s journey.”  ~Andrew

We have been in operation at this centre since July 2021 and have welcomed hundreds of visitors, including volunteers and donors. It is here that our volunteers and members are able to interact, connect and aid in providing this community with essential donations. We are fortunate to receive regular deliveries of rice, bread, milk, canned food and fresh vegetables which we distribute to the families most in need. 

“I hope you are well. I did a drop-off of some food a few weeks ago and your staff were extremely friendly and thankful. It’s a lovely environment there. Thank you for what you are doing.” ~Janice

We pay $11,000 a month to rent this small space which has become the heart of our community. For some refugees, it is the most important place in town where they can meet friends and let their children play whilst receiving services. Over 1000 refugee families and their children visit every month and, thanks to your generous support, seldom leave empty handed! 

“We have worked with Refugee Union on several occasions in the past few years. My own family has experienced the difficulties of being a refugee, so the work RU does is even more special to me. I hope you can continue working and helping all of these people in need.” ~Alisha 

We welcome anyone in the community to visit our centre and learn about our predicament firsthand.

We are also grateful for the support and partnership with Drink for Justice whose monthly event supports our fundraiser for the rental payment of the centre. Please support and help us spread the word to not only raise funds for the rent but to raise awareness! We believe that together, we are stronger

Click to donate > https://go.sparkraise.com/keep-refugee-unions-center-running

 

APRIL ROUNDUP 四月回顧

Apr 30th, 2022 | Monthly Roundup | Comment

The recent outbreak in Hong Kong is coming to an end following a significant decrease in local infection cases. We all cannot wait to resume social activities. At the same time, this April is also a milestone to our organisation. To better engage with the local community we start to provide a Chinese version for our social media posts. This article reviews the activities that happened at our centre in the past month.

隨著新冠病毒的感染人數顯著下降,本港第五波疫情漸見曙光。大家都期盼早日回復正常的社交生活。對本會而言,本月同是一個里程碑。為更深入與本地社群互動,本會將為社交媒體發佈的資訊提供中文版本。本文回顧過去一個月本會曾舉辦的活動。

About Us 關於我們

The Refugee Union was founded in 2014 and is the first refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong. Our centre is currently based in Sheung Wan. We work with visions to safeguard refugee rights and to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.

難民聯會 (Refugee Union) 於2014年成立,為本港首個由尋求庇護者和難民自發組織和營運的團體。本會的會址現位於上環。自成立以來,本會一直致力於保障難民權益和改善本港尋求庇護者和難民的待遇。

Emergency Food Drive 緊急糧食儲備

Government offices and supporting organisations are closed during the lockdown. The refugee community has nowhere to seek help. Necessities went into shortage and prices went high as a result of panic buying. But for asylum seekers, they are prohibited from working and are solely reliant on HK$40 (US$5) a day to survive. The pandemic has further worsened their situation.

In view of this, we have initiated a fundraising campaign online. It is our hope to gather community resources and redistribute to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need. Kindly show your support for our Emergency Food Drive.

本港第五波疫症爆發期間,公共醫療服務幾近癱瘓。社區出現恐慌性消費,令糧食和生活必需品價格上漲,甚至陷入短缺。本港的難民群體成為被遺忘的一群,未有獲得適切的協助之餘,亦求助無門。

尋求庇護者不獲准在港工作,僅以每天約HK$40的津貼過活。疫情在社區造成的影響對他們而言可謂雪上加霜。有見及此,本會發起了一項線上眾籌,希望匯集社區資源支援本港難民社群。本會懇請各位善心人士慷慨解囊,助難民群體度過難關。

Abolish the Food Card System 廢除糧食卡制度

We have also initiated an online petition calling for abolishing the refugee food card system. Asylum seekers are only allowed to purchase items at the ParknShop supermarket. For the past eight years the policy has not changed, nor has the card value increased with inflation. It is unreasonable to distrust asylum seekers from managing the HK$40 a day to purchase items they need at the cheapest price they can find in the neighbourhood.

We respectfully request the Hong Kong Government to review the food card system and stipend for asylum seekers. Kindly show your support for us by signing the petition.

本會早前亦草擬了一封呈請書,呼籲特區政府廢除針對尋求庇護者的糧食卡制度。現時本港的尋求庇護者僅以每月HK$1,200 (相當於每日HK$40) 額度的糧食卡於百佳超級市場購買糧食和生活必需品。特區政府自八年前實施糧食卡制度以來從未檢視該政策的成效。實際上,本港生活成本高昂,糧食卡的額度早已追不上通脹。另一方面,有關尋求庇護者僅能於百佳超級市場購物的限制亦剝奪了他們以更相宜的價格購買糧食和生活必需品的機會。

本會懇請特區政府廢除針對尋求庇護者的糧食卡制度,並檢視現行尋求庇護者每月獲發津貼的金額。本會現誠邀各位聯署支持,以改善本港尋求庇護者和難民的待遇。

Giving is a Blessing 施比受更有福

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items. We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all generous donors for lending us a hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.

本會於過去一個月獲善心人士捐贈大量物資。本會衷心感謝各位的慷慨解囊,並已將收集到的物資全數送到尋求庇護者和難民家庭手中。

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the most updated information. You are also welcome to contact us by email at info@refugeeunion.org or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

請繼續關注本會的官方網站和社交媒體專頁 (FacebookInstagramTwitter) 以獲取本會發佈的最新資訊。亦歡迎各位以電郵 (info@refugeeunion.org) 形式聯絡本會或親臨到訪 (辦公時間:星期一至六 上午10時至下午6時)。

Deserving or undeserving refugees?

Apr 13th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

The war in Ukraine should make us reflect upon deep-seated biases held about “deserving” and “undeserving” refugees. Digging below the superficial justifications one might discover racism. The right to seek asylum is indeed universal 🤔
 
It doesn’t matter where you are from. It doesn’t matter what gender or colour you are. It doesn’t matter what job you had. Everyone has the right to seek asylum in another country if he/she believes that returning home is dangerous 🌏
 
We are thankful for the hundreds of supporters who get this and we are saddened by critics who believe we should welcome certain “deserving” refugees and turn away “undeserving” ones. If only they could walk in those shoes 👟
 
 
 

MARCH ROUNDUP

Mar 30th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

This March continues to be a very difficult month for us and for people in Hong Kong.  Numbers of infection keep accelerating following the outbreak of the Omicron Variant virus locally.  Many are suffering from the pain of disease and some have lost their loved ones.  Despite the city being placed under lockdown, we stand firm and provide essential service for asylum seekers and refugees.  This is a review of the activities that happened at our centre in the past month.

About us

We are the Refugee Union.  Our organisation was founded in 2014 and is the first refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong.  We have a centre based in Sheung Wan.  We work with visions to safeguard refugee rights and to keep improving the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.

Emergency food drive

Asylum seekers and refugees have nowhere to seek help as government offices, churches, and supporting organisations are closed during the lockdown.  Prices of necessities also go skyrocketing as people scramble for them in panic.  Asylum seekers in Hong Kong are prohibited from working and are solely reliant on HK$40 per day to survive.  The current pandemic has further worsened their situation.

We therefore have initiated an online fundraising campaign.  We will allocate the resources we gathered to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.  Kindly show your support for our Emergency Food Drive.

Call for abolishing the food card system

We have also initiated an online petition calling for an abolishment of the food card system.  Currently asylum seekers are restricted to purchase items at the ParknShop supermarket.  For the past eight years the policy has not changed, nor has the card value increased with inflation.  It is unreasonable to distrust asylum seekers from managing the small amount of cash to purchase items they need at the cheapest price they can find in the neighbourhood.

We respectfully request the Hong Kong government to review the food card system and stipend for asylum seekers.  Kindly show your support for us by signing the petition.

Giving is a blessing

This month we have received donations of wide-ranging items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all generous donors for lending us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank professional journalists at the South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Free Press for bringing our situation to public attention.  Thanks also go to Canada in Hong Kong for recommending our organisation to the public.

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the most updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at info@refugeeunion.org or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

We are refugees helping refugees.  Thank you for your support of our initiative.

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