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Immigration Department expresses regret over misleading commentary on handling of screening of Trafficking in Persons cases
     A spokesman for the Immigration Department (ImmD) today (October 8) expressed regret over a misleading commentary published by Ming Pao yesterday (October 7) on ImmD's handling of screening of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases.

     "The ImmD attaches great importance to fight against TIP, and has all along been conducting TIP initial screening with vulnerable persons who are arrested or who put themselves forward to the authorities (including illegal workers, illegal immigrants, sex workers and foreign domestic helpers, etc) by adopting the same standard and definition as stipulated in the Palermo Protocol. If there is any TIP indicator revealed during the TIP initial screening, ImmD officers will conduct full investigation and identification process to ascertain the presence of TIP elements. Identified TIP victims will be provided appropriate protection and support," the spokesman said.

     In addition, in response to the comment mentioned in the relevant commentary that the ImmD has not conducted TIP screening on detainees at Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (CIC), the ImmD emphasized "that CIC is actually a detention centre for persons awaiting deportation/removal or claimants awaiting final determination of their torture claims. Majority of the detainees are persons previously arrested for commitment of immigration offences, and persons pending deportation/removal to their country of origin. In fact, the ImmD had earlier conducted TIP initial screening arrangement on them in accordance with the mechanisms."

     "The ImmD has all along strictly followed the established detention policies, and in accordance with the relevant legal requirements and legal principles established by the Court. According to the prevailing detention policies (the relevant detention policies are posted on the departmental website for public inspection), while determining whether an individual should be detained, the ImmD will consider all the facts and circumstances of the particular case. The mere presence of a particular factor does not automatically lead to detention or release. The factors listed in the detention policies are not meant to be exhaustive or in any order of priority / weight. The ImmD will conduct regular and timely review of each detention case in accordance with the prevailing mechanisms." the spokesman added.
Ends/Saturday, October 8, 2022
Issued at HKT 13:12
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