Judgment HCMA 34/2015

Mar 9th, 2015 | Immigration, Legal | Comment

HCMA000034_2015 - Khan Aftab

CableTV promo for report on “ISS food problem”

Mar 9th, 2015 | Food, Media, Welfare | Comment


News Lancet on ISS food problem

Refugee says nothing has changed for him under new screening system

Mar 8th, 2015 | Immigration, Media, Welfare | Comment

SCMP - Refugee says nothing has changed - 8Mar2015

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

Book review - asylum seeking and the global city

Transcript of ONTV video on fires in the slums

Mar 5th, 2015 | Crime, Housing, Media, Welfare | Comment

ONTV video on refugee slums - 28Feb2015 - transcripT


Judgment HCMA 716/2014

Mar 5th, 2015 | Legal | Comment

HCMA000716_2014 - Khalid Mehmood

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.  

Refugee community supports lawmaker Fernando Cheung
South China Morning Post report on 4 March 2015


Full support for Fernando Cheung
Fernando with Vision First supporters on 8 July 2013


Full support for Fernando Cheung - 5Mar2015 (2)
Fernando is the only politician who inspected the slums in 2013 and promised to improve refugee housing.


Full support for Fernando Cheung - 5Mar2015 (3)
Fernando frequently visited Vision First to meet refugees and hear their narratives first-hand. He was instrumental in the campaign to raise welfare assistance levels in February 2014


Full support for Fernando Cheung - 5Mar2015 (4)
Fernando was the first politician to support refugees in February 2014, during “Occupy ISS”. He is seen in the photo speaking to program director Miss. Panares who saw fit to draw the shutters on aggrieved refugees rather than welcoming discussions and negotiations.

Security Bureau reply to Vision First on 26 Feb 2015

Mar 3rd, 2015 | Housing, Immigration, Legal, Welfare | Comment

Security Bureau reply to various matters - 26Feb2015

Refugee humanitarianly assisted by HK Government seeks protection from the system that assists him

Mar 3rd, 2015 | Crime, Housing, Welfare | Comment

From: +852566722xx
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”

Dorm rooms in TST Mansion (3)

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