Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
HK and UNHCR sign agreement on enhanced co-operation (with photo)

     The Director of Immigration, Mr Simon Peh, and the Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Hong Kong Sub-Office, Mr Choosin Ngaotheppitak, today (January 20) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on enhanced co-operation between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the UNHCR.  

     The Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said, "We attach importance to the presence of the UNHCR in Hong Kong, although the HKSAR Government has no obligation to process refugee claims or grant asylum."

     The 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol are not applicable to Hong Kong.  Refugee claims lodged in Hong Kong are handled by the UNHCR's Sub-Office in Hong Kong.

     Under the Memorandum of Understanding, training of immigration officers relating to screening procedures will be enhanced as some immigration officers will be seconded to the UNHCR Hong Kong Sub-office for such a purpose.  

     "The secondment will certainly benefit the immigration officers involved as exposure to the UNHCR's work will broaden their horizons, and help them develop knowledge and skills that are relevant to the department's work in processing torture claims," Mr Lee said.

     The UNHCR has also organised training programmes for immigration officers responsible for processing torture claims.  Another workshop will be organised next month.

Ends/Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:21


Print this page