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Before the Healing – Barriers to Protection for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Survivors Exiled in Hong Kong.

Before the Healing – Barriers to Protection for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Survivors Exiled in Hong Kong.

Justice Centre Hong Kong,
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
There is widespread recognition that SGBV is a violation of human rights, and constitutes acts of immense pain and suffering amounting to torture. However, a SGBV survivor seeking protection in Hong Kong face significant barriers to protection, with a troubling high rate of refusal, lack of means for rehabilitation and redress, and no prospect for durable solution.
This paper will identify the legal and practical hurdles to healing for SGBV survivors exiled in Hong Kong (“HK”), and explore how the international human rights framework creates space for advocating for protection and rehabilitation.
Justice Centre Hong Kong (“JCHK”) support refugees, survivors of torture and other forced migrants to realise their rights in Hong Kong through the provision of legal and psychosocial services. We currently assist 127 women and children, 50% of which have (or are child dependents of those who have) recounted past experiences of survivors of SGBV. As practitioners, we work to carve out a protection space for these women, and offer pathways to healing.
METHODOLOGY:
A qualitative analysis of a sample of JCHK case files, including basis of claim and reasoning provided by decision-makers in accepting or rejecting claims; interviews with selected claimants to facilitate a gender analysis of access to protection and rehabilitation for SBGV survivors seeking asylum in HK; and analysis of comparative jurisdictions.
CHALLENGES:
Lack of government statistics to identify full scope of affected population; and lack of published or known policy or guidance adopted by the decision-making bodies to facilitate analysis of government’s approach to SGBV claims.
IMPLICATIONS & CONCLUSIONS:
The barriers for SBGV survivors to access protection and rehabilitation in HK highlight the importance of gender review, and the need for concrete steps to translate international principles into practice.

Speakers: Lynette Nam