Hong Kong human rights report

We are dedicated to keep the world informed of the latest human rights, legal and political development in Hong Kong, and to facilitate public discourse in Hong Kong by monitoring and examining human rights situation in Hong Kong based on international human rights standards.

The Hong Kong Centre for Human Rights released the “Hong Kong Human Rights Report 2023” on 23 January, documenting and analysing the human rights situation in Hong Kong in 2023. The report covers the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL), the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, academic freedom, the right to participate in public affairs, and the rights of sexual minorities.

[Click here to read the report]

The United Nations Human Rights Council is conducting the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review from 2022 to 2027. According to the tentative timetable, China (including Hong Kong and Macau) will be reviewed on 23 January 2024. Civil society organisations were invited to submit information as to human rights situation of the reviewed State.

Accordingly, Hong Kong Centre for Human Rights made a submission regarding Hong Kong to the HRC on 18 July 2023. The submission focuses on the human rights situation in Hong Kong since the last UPR review (the third cycle) in 2018, consisting of 9 major human rights aspects, namely national security, police violence, rule of law, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to political participation and immigration detention.

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June 4 of this year marks the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Hong Kong people should have been able to exercise their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and assembly to mourn the victims and express their views in a peaceful manner. However, the Hong Kong government deployed a large number of police officers to heavy-handedly surveil the people and interfere with the commemoration activities in various districts. The extent of severity and asperity was unprecedented.

Hong Kong Centre for Human Rights publishes the Report of the 34th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Based on public information, this report has compiled and studied in detail the events that took place before, on and after June 4, which also includes an in-depth legal analysis. We discovered a worrying trend that the Hong Kong government has adopted a number of new strategies which lack a solid legal basis. Its actions in a number of areas have clearly infringed basic rights of individual citizens, and violated local laws as well as international human rights standards.

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On 27 July 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (“Committee”) issued the concluding observations (“CO”) on Hong Kong’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), which elaborated the Committee’s observations and recommendations in detail.

Given that more than half a year has passed, Hong Kong Centre for Human Rights (“HKCHR”) believes it is a good time to review the city’s implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. We thus produced a report to thoroughly record the government’s compliance with and/or defiance of the recommendations on ten selected major topics in the period between 27 July 2022 and 31 March 2023 (“the Reporting Period”).

In summary, HKCHR found that the Hong Kong government refused to implement any recommendation made by the Committee as to the ten selected topics. Instead, with undisguised contempt for the UN human rights mechanism, the government continues its human rights violations and even proactively exacerbates the infringements in some cases.

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We submitted a parallel report to the Committee which illustrated the actual human rights situation in Hong Kong in detail. We urge the Committee to express concerns over the deteriorating human rights situations in Hong Kong, and demand the Hong Kong government to cease violating human rights and take remedial actions immediately.
Our submission pointed out that, during the reporting period (2014-2023), the main threats to the enjoyment of rights for all in Hong Kong, including women, are the systematic suppression of freedoms, obstruction to participation in political and public life, erosion of the rule of law and other institutional safeguards of human rights.

We submitted a report to the UN Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for its review of Hong Kong in February 2023. The submission covers a range of issues related to rights guaranteed by the Covenant, with a focus on the impact of the National Security Law and the COVID-19 measures on rights, including the dissolution of trade unions, the promotion of national security education, and the Government’s handling of the protests in 2019-2020.

[Click to read the report]