U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hong Kong
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hong Kong, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7c928.html [accessed 13 March 2014]|
Hong Kong (Tier 1)
Hong Kong is a point of transit and destination for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Although primarily a transit region for illegal migrants, Hong Kong is a destination for women from the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Southeast Asian countries trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims transit Hong Kong, originating from the PRC and Southeast Asia, en route to North America and Australia.
The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Hong Kong authorities implement anti-trafficking measures in the context of combating migrant smuggling. The government carries out effective border and immigration controls, information campaigns designed to educate shipping industry officials about smuggling patterns, and has a tight web of criminal ordinances designed to punish traffickers.
Hong Kong maintains effective border and immigration control as its first line of prevention. There is inter-agency coordination among the police, immigration, customs, private industry, and the NGO community. Multi-lingual pamphlets are also distributed in key public areas to inform foreign women of their worker rights. Hong Kong's human smuggling police unit publishes a biannual report that gives updates on tactics used by traffickers, and regularly shares this information with foreign governments. Officials have taken steps to curb the use of shipping containers for the clandestine movement of persons.
Hong Kong has no specific anti-trafficking law, but related criminal ordinances are used to prosecute traffickers. According to available data, law enforcement efforts resulted in at least six convictions against traffickers. Sentences ranged from one- to five-year prison-terms. Over 1,500 officers are deployed to monitor security, borders, airports, flights and shipping, and also monitor for potential trafficking. In the past year, there has been increased sharing of intelligence with friendly governments and more international cooperation on prosecutions. Although regularly published reports and general statistics are made available by law enforcement to keep the public informed, the government needs to take steps to keep better statistics on trafficking victims.
Trafficking victims have access to a breadth of general protective services provided in Hong Kong. Regardless of legal status or charge of offense committed, trafficking victims have access to temporary lodging in women's refugee centers, basic necessities, medical services, and a victim support center. Women who provide testimony against their traffickers are granted immunity and allowed to return home without penalty. Foreign domestic helpers are given the same access to services as local workers in labor suits, such as free legal aid, against employers.