Judgment HCMA 34/2015
Mar 9th, 2015 | Immigration, Legal | Comment
CableTV promo for report on “ISS food problem”
Mar 9th, 2015 | Food, Media, Welfare | Comment
Refugee says nothing has changed for him under new screening system
Mar 8th, 2015 | Immigration, Media, Welfare | Comment
Fire Services launch inspection of refugee slums
Mar 5th, 2015 | Housing, VF Opinion, Welfare | Comment
On 4 March 2015 Vision First received five phone calls from several fire stations in the New Territory, referring to a list of refugee slums submitted for inspection. Fire Service Department (FSD) officers asked, “We are going to visit some of the slums shown on your website. May we ask the exact location? Could you pinpoint it on a Google map for reference?”
With a sense of urgency, the officers informed that they could not wait for a joint inspection because they were already on the way to Ping Che where the first 6 compounds on our list are located. They spoke about ‘deploying contingency plans’ and being tasks to conduct immediate investigations following various complaint letters and emails by Vision First.
Considering that we first communicated concerned about slum fire hazards in 2013, perhaps priorities changed in the wake of two events: 1) the death of a refugee in a blaze on 29 January 2015; and 2) the explosion of gas cylinders in a slum fire on 25 February 2015. These are incidents that supposedly would grab the attention of professionals tasks to protect people and property from fires.
Since time was of the essence, we suggested contacting the Refugee Union which has coordinators in every district and most rural villages, including Ping Che, from where the struggle against dangerous housing supported and subvented by ISS-HK started in May 2013. The FSD appreciated the suggestion and met a Refugee Union representative to inspect several slums yesterday.
For some utterly bizarre reason the Fire Service Department contacted an NGO (Vision First) and relied on the assistance of a society (Refugee Union), to locate and inspect refugee slums where public funds have been paid for years to purported landlords by a contracted agent (ISS-HK) of a government department (Social Welfare Department).
Why didn’t FSD ask SWD to pinpoint the slums on a Google map?
Could it be that the SWD remains clueless about the location of its refugee slums? And that would not be for lack of our offers to accompany them. It is increasingly perplexing that numerous law enforcement agents, Lands Department officers and Fire Services officers have inspected (many) slums, while the one department responsible for refugee housing prefers to remain in the dark.
Book review: Asylum Seeking and the Global City
Mar 5th, 2015 | Crime, Detention, Immigration | Comment
Transcript of ONTV video on fires in the slums
Mar 5th, 2015 | Crime, Housing, Media, Welfare | Comment
Judgment HCMA 716/2014
Mar 5th, 2015 | Legal | Comment
Vision First supports lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung
Mar 5th, 2015 | Advocacy, Crime, Refugee Community, Welfare | Comment
We are deeply saddened by the arrest of a great political supporter, the Honorable Fernando Cheung.
Fernando stands apart for his commitment to refugees going back over a decade. Veteran refugees recall him visiting them in prisons and Immigration detention ten years ago, when the injustice they suffered didn’t yet register with the broader society and media as today.
Fernando has a special heart for all the vulnerable and disenfranchised people in Hong Kong, with no exception. He always displayed the very best of Hong Kong hospitality to refugees who suffer unjustly against government policies aimed at discouraging, rather than assisting, seeking asylum.
The charges seem political. Hong Kong Government is on a witch-hunt to punish the organizers of the Occupy movement that challenged their authority.
We fervently hope that justice will prevail.
Fernando did the right thing – he stood resolutely with the people unafraid of the consequences.
Security Bureau reply to Vision First on 26 Feb 2015
Mar 3rd, 2015 | Housing, Immigration, Legal, Welfare | Comment
Refugee humanitarianly assisted by HK Government seeks protection from the system that assists him
Mar 3rd, 2015 | Crime, Housing, Welfare | Comment
—— SMS START ——
Received: Mar 3, 2015 5:15 PM
Hi I am Tariq member of refuge union, live in tsim sha tsui mansion 11 floor. Before we live 7 people in one room and landlord want to add 2 more people in my room. I stop her and she called the police and put fake knife case on me. I need your help sir. She collaborates with ISS, but she put 30 people in one room. She use ISS paper for rent home and use for guesthouse. Plz help me sir.
(content edited for clarity)
—— SMS END ——
See our blog “Ill-treatment of refugees tarnishes Hong Kong’s reputation”