Article Sharing - Anti Human Trafficking

Here is a 'news clipping' re 'anti human trafficking' from the 'Christian Weekly' of November 5, 2017 for your information.

01 News fr Christian Weekly Nov 2017

English translated version below -

The problem of trafficking is getting more serious in Hong Kong due to the lack of a perfect law of ‘anti human trafficking’

As U.S. Department of State has included Hong Kong in the ‘Human Trafficking Level Two Watching List’ at an earlier time, a question has been raised inevitably that if ‘human trafficking’ is really existing in Hong Kong? Ms. Tina Chan, Project Manager of STOP. has shared the situation of Hong Kong at the Asia Justice Conference on October 20th – she mentioned that the common forms of trafficking in Hong Kong includes foreign domestic helpers, compensated dating and working holidays. She hoped that the public and the churches could deepen their knowledge on this issue in the future.

An foreign helper, Rata was seduced into coming Hong Kong by an offer of a monthly salary of HK$1,000, but she was exploited to having a monthly paid of HK$500 indeed without any holiday leave during the first half year after her arrival. She was almost working 20 hours per day.  This situation was being continued till it was discovered by a neighbor maid, who had given her some biscuits, and reported to STOP. which is an organization concerning human trafficking issue. Ms. Tina Chan of STOP. said ‘Human trafficking is existing secretively and no one can easily tell a person on the street is a victim.’

Tina added that out of the present 45,800,000 modern slaves in the world, Hong Kong has 29,500 slaves of these, the situation is getting worse and U. S. Department of State has listed Hong Kong as the ‘Human Trafficking (2WL)’, of which has indicated that the Government of Hong Kong has failed to meet the minimum requirements of combating human trafficking. The Hong Kong Government is unwilling to admit that and has issued a ‘four pages paper’ to tell people that human trafficking is not existing so much in Hong Kong.

Tina Chan explained that human trafficking is a way of ‘modern slave’ that involves violence, fraud or intimidation that causes others to engage in commercial sex or forced labor and it includes three elements : action (soliciting / harboring / transporting / providing or receiving), means (violence / fraud / intimidation), purpose (sexual exploitation / forced labor / other services).

‘Human trafficking can also happen on Hongkongers. In recent years, the most common form includes compensated dating and working holidays.’ said Tin. She further shared there was a case of a 13-year-old girl who had been lured by a 18-year-old female friend to make intercourse with two men for $1,500. She was told later that photos and videos had been taken.  The girl was forced to earn money by doing commercial sex till the situation was discovered by social workers. Tina reluctantly pointed out that there were over a thousand cases of compensated dating in last year but more cases were being undiscovered. More, there was a case about a local girl who was seduced to go to Australia by an offer of working holidays in a strawberry garden, but the girl was cheated and arrived at a prostitute instead.

There were some local research found that out of six foreign domestic helpers, there was one being forced to work, of which included sexual assault and human right abuses. The most common case was domestic helpers had been asked to pay for high charges from intermediary companies, of which were nearly 70% to 80% of their salary from the first eight to nine months. These payments were named such as intermediary fees, air tickets, accommodation fees, training fees, etc. Under this situation, the domestic helpers could only receive no more than HK$800 for their monthly paid, some of them even needed to ask for financial help from loan companies.

Tina said, ‘The biggest problem in the front line is that Hong Kong does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.’ She said bluntly that every time police found difficult to officially record a case into ‘human trafficking’ classification as they had no such classification in their handbook, so they usually put it under ‘foreign domestic helpers abuse case’. She hoped that the public and churches could be raised about the awareness of human trafficking in future. Recently, STOP. has collaborated with painters to launch ‘word cards’ against human trafficking and planned to hold an open exhibition in early next year. She encouraged churches to deepen their understanding of the issue by attending forums of ‘Forced Prostitution - True or False?’ in the late November this year, of which were co-organized by a number of churches. Besides, churches could also help to promote public education in this aspect through co-operation with other organizations in the way of writing, photography and video recording.