U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hong Kong

Hong Kong (Tier 1)

Hong Kong is primarily a transit country for individuals trafficked from China and other Asian Countries. A small number of illegal migrants may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The government has a trafficking law as well as other statutes on human smuggling, forgery of travel documents, fair employment practices as well as physical and sexual abuse, which have been used against traffickers. Effective border controls and high technology detection tools may be helping to stem the flow of trafficking victims and the smuggling of people in containers through Hong Kong. A small number of employment and sexual exploitation trafficking cases have been prosecuted and defendants have been convicted and jailed. Penalties for trafficking may also include forfeiture and fines. Moreover, the distinction between smuggling and trafficking cases is not clearly delineated. Law enforcement officials receive specialized training on trafficking and have access to specialized equipment and intelligence systems. Protection of trafficking victims includes food and basic necessities, legal aid procedures to protect vulnerable victims and witnesses, medical and psychological services, refugee centers and assistance to employees seeking compensation from employers for exploitation. Victim protection services could benefit from greater interagency cooperation. The government considers the potential for jeopardy for a prostituted woman before returning her to her home country. Foreign workers are provided conciliation services in disputes with employers. Prevention efforts include providing pamphlets to workers about their rights; the pamphlets are widely distributed and are published in a wide range of languages. The government's prevention package reflects Hong Kong's high standard of living, access to civil liberties, and compulsory education. The Government of Hong Kong cooperates internationally with law enforcement on investigations, prosecutions and bilateral arrangements as well as with international organizations, such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.


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