The HK SAR Government should guarantee the rights of asylum seekers' locally-born children
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Asylum seekers are those requesting for sanctuary. They occupy over 10 thousands among the population of Hong Kong. In this dynamic international city of finance and commerce that grows at a speedy pace, asylum seekers have been waiting for the recognition and basic care from the officials and authority, namely the Immigration Department, for weeks or years - some have even been waiting for more than a decade.
What’s even more heartbreaking is the fact that their children, who were given birth in Hong Kong in the recent years, are also far from gaining a legally-regconized residency. Asylum seekers, including this group of locally-born children, are not allowed to work. Hence it makes them nearly impossible to make a living with limited social treatment from the Social Welfare Department and NGOs. The most cruel fact is that opportunities to get access to education by these second generation kids of asylum seekers are exploited.
We are a group of HKU (The University of Hong Kong) Sociology students who are currently studying the identity and social exclusion issues encountered by these children. With our project topic as “The second generation of asylum seekers: Are ‘made in Hong Kong’ children Hongkongers?”, we would like to organize an online petition to demand for more awareness from the government on the identity and exploitation of all opportunities in daily life of these children.
Children are our future, regardless of their nationalities. In a society self-claiming for improving its teenagers’ growth and prosperity, the government should in no doubt protect these locally-born children. They are Hongkongers, and same as other local children, they are our hope.
Asylum seeker issue has been widely discussed in the city for years. Yet, their children’s rights and livelihood are not always under the spotlight of media for discussion.
Please do not hesitate to sign up for this online petition. We shall make a future for all children who deserve an opportunity of education and good living in Hong Kong!
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