government discussion paper
Topic: Should Hong Kong set up a closed camp for non-refoulement claimants?Hello, this paper is too complicated in our scope of free reviews. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need our professional editing / writing services. Thank you for your understanding.
I want to join the government. This essay is a government discussion paper.
Setting up a closed camp is one of the hot issues in HK recently.
I want it to be simple, accurate and no mistake.
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(Summary: HK has signed the Convention against torture but not Convention of refugee. Therefore, HK has no refugee problem. Our government only has to handle non-refoulement claims and then the approved claims will be referred to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for arrangement.)
Background and purpose
There have been calls recently with the Legislative Council and in the community for setting up a closed camp for non-refoulement claimants in Hong Kong due to the overwhelming number of claims. Meanwhile, claimants engaging in criminal activities and taking up illegal employment are detrimental to law and order of the community. This paper sets out the observations and views of government on the issue of setting up closed camp for claimants.
The Pros and Cons of setting up a closed camp for claimants
The key pros and cons are as follows:
Factors in favor of setting up a closed camp
Retaining law and order in local communities
A safe community is always in the first priority of the Government. The Government noticed that there are triad groups that target and recruit claimants to engage in criminal activities, like (such as) drug trafficking, possession of arms and armed conflicts, which pose a threat to the law and order of Hong Kong as well as the personal safety of citizens. By setting up a closed camp, we can isolate claimants from the triad and the communities, preventing claimants from triads' recruitment and therefore committing serious crime. It will assure the law and order of our society and personal safety of people.
Diminishing the temptation of "economic claimants"
In view of the humanitarian assistance for around HKD$3,000 per claimants per month by the Social Welfare Department as well as the opportunity of taking up illegal employment, the government also noticed that "economic claimants" make use of the claims to overstay at Hong Kong for illegal working. According to the Data from immigration department, there were XX% of claimants from 4 countries mainly, where are XXX. However, those places are in a relatively peaceful situations than most of the places of other claimants. In this connection, should the Government builds a closed camp, it can eliminate the temptation of economic claimants arising from illegal employment, in order to reduce the claims and focus on the needy.
Eliminating the misunderstanding of local Southeast Asians
Many Southeast Asians live in Hong Kong as permanent residents. But in the result of illegal activities by some Southeast Asian claimants, local citizens who are not familiar with their culture are establishing a kind of misunderstanding towards an ethnicity, leading to a social disharmony which the Government doesn't want to see. Therefore, setting up a closed camp can fence off claimants from the local minority so as to increase the understanding of our local minority and maintain social harmony.
Factors against setting up a close camp
Concerns about human right
Human right is always prioritized high in Hong Kong and also in the Administration. A closed camp is definitely a violation of personal freedom. The claimants are victims but not criminals. There is no moral reason justifying the detention. Set with reference to that the average processing time for a single claim is 28 weeks, a closed camp means at least 7 to 8 months imprisonment of claimants. It is either immoral or inhumane to a human being who did nothing wrong.
International image of Hong Kong
A closed camp for non-refoulement claimants is detrimental to the name of an international city. Hong Kong has been deemed as one of the liberal cities protecting the right and freedom of people, one of the reasons prompting us a well-known international city. Securing claimants' right and aiding them are our sole responsibility according to the international treaty. We already didn't sign the Refugee Treaty, exempting us from the refugee issue. If we decide to detain them rather than to protect their freedom, certainly it will be bad for our image.
Extraordinary cost of a closed camp
Upon the establishment of a closed camp, it will be turn out a long-term expense as well as a burden to Hong Kong. Some may well say that the humanitarian assistance is a waste of public money. Compared with a closed camp, it is much cost-effective. With reference to the Vietnamese boat Camp in 1980s, the cost of allowing all Vietnamese refugee to be a permanent resident in HK with comprehensive social assistance for all of them was still mush cheaper than that of operating the camps. The extraordinary cost is foreseeable.
Impact to Hong Kong
In accordance with the experience of managing refugee camps in 1980s, a closed camp may well be a long-term financial burden to Hong Kong citizen. Some argued that the claimants don't deserve a financial aid which have a similar amount of CSSA. However, taking into account of management, a financial assistance with the addition of aid from NGO are the most effective way to help them. All the management, manpower, site seeking and assistance in the camp will be all expenses without end and return. Therefore, the heavy financial burden by setting up a closed camp is inevitable.
We can also expect the law and order can be reverted upon the setting up of camp. With regard to the type of crime claimants committed, most of those are serious. A closed camp meaning reducing a number of serious crimes can restore the public order so as to improve the quality of life of citizens.
Shortening the processing time
One of the key problems is the lengthy processing time induced by some economic claimants who intend to delay the processing time in order to extend the staying time in HK by various excuses. By doing so, there will be no excuse for economic claimants to delay the application as they all live in the same place. It will improve the processing time and efficiency for Immigration Department.
The purpose of a closed camp is for the overstaying of claimants and also to maintain the law and order of the society. Two recommendations are as follows
Speeding up the processing time
The longer time claimants stay, the heavier burden in costs we bear. With quicker process, the claimants who are eligible to move can leave as soon as possible while we will bear less social and financial burden. The Government will allocate more resource to the Immigration Department for checking the claimants accurately in order to reduce waiting time.
The reasons of claimants committing crime are the hardship of living as well as nothing they can do. First of all, we can raise the amount of subsidy in term of daily necessity and food instead of money in order to secure their living standard. Besides, we can commission NGOs to guide them doing volunteer work to contribute to the society as well as cultivate a sense of belonging. Furthermore, Government will deploy more forces to fight crime in order to maintain the safety of communities.
Government doesn't recommend setting up a closed camp for non-refoulement claimants. With a view to law and order, it is a useful way to protect the safety of the city. However, having regard to the cost of a closed camp, protection of human right of claimants and other alternatives, a closed camp is no longer suitable in Hong Kong. It is reported that many claimants committing crime but it disregards the fact that the crime rate of claimants is similar to that of local people. There are only some claimants engaging in criminal activities which doesn't represent all of those doing the same thing. The government will proactively deploy more forces to fight crime in order to maintain the law and order as well as allocate more resources to speed up the process so as to shorten the staying time of claimants.