U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hong Kong

Hong Kong (Tier 1)

Hong Kong is primarily a transit location for the trafficking of persons, although the full extent of trafficking is not clear. About 50 million travelers go to or through Hong Kong annually. Authorities make several thousand arrests annually for immigration violations by persons transiting or present in Hong Kong. About three-fourths are from elsewhere in China; most of the remainder are from the Philippines and South Asia. Some foreign domestic workers, particularly from Indonesia, have been recruited abroad and brought to Hong Kong only to be placed in coercive working and living conditions. There have also been reports that some women from Vietnam have been brought to Hong Kong as "mail-order brides," who, once in Hong Kong, are vulnerable to exploitation. The authorities are aware of both these problems and have taken steps to remedy them.

Hong Kong meets the minimum standards and is making significant efforts to combat trafficking. Hong Kong has had a long history of stringent anticorruption rule of law tradition and practices. The Government's efforts to combat trafficking are part of broader efforts to combat alien smuggling. Government authorities regularly monitor illegal migration and human smuggling through Hong Kong's air and seaports and coordinate with the People's Republic of China and foreign governments. Immigration, customs, and police departments are well trained and equipped to detect and investigate trafficking-related criminal activities. The Customs Department deploys over 1,500 officers at the airport, boundary control points, container terminals, and Hong Kong waters to combat human smuggling. The police force continuously patrols land and sea boundaries to ensure border integrity and aggressively investigates triad involvement in organized migrant smuggling. Although Hong Kong does not have a specific anti-trafficking law, the Government prosecutes violators under various laws prohibiting trafficking-related activities. The Government prints and distributes widely pamphlets in numerous languages explaining the rights of and services available to foreign domestic workers. Trafficking victims usually are deported, rather than formally charged. However, legal aid is available to those who choose to pursue legal proceedings against an employer and immunity from prosecution is often made available to those who assist in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The Government does not provide funding to foreign or domestic NGO's for services to victims.


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