The 'right to work' of refugees in Hong Kong: MA v director of immigration
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AbstractThe Hong Kong government has a policy that prohibits refugees from working unless they are able to demonstrate 'exceptional circumstances'. The government has applied this policy strictly on the grounds of Hong Kong's 'unique circumstances' and the danger of enticing large numbers of 'illegal immigrants' to the territory. So far only a single refugee has been granted permission to work, raising questions about the policy's reasonableness and the extent to which immigration officials undertake a conscientious assessment of each claim. In MA v Director of Immigration, four mandated refugees and one screened-in torture claimant challenged the legality of this policy and its implementation. They had all been waiting in Hong Kong for between 5-10 years for resettlement. Through the lens of the MA case, this article will survey three sources of international human rights law relevant to protecting access to work for refugees: the right to work, the right to privacy and the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It explores possible ways for refugees in Hong Kong to assert these rights and calls for a cogent administrative framework that has proper regard to a wide range of rights-based considerations in the assessment of refugee work authorisation requests.©The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
All Author(s) ListRamsden M., Marsh L.
Journal nameInternational Journal of Refugee Law
Year2013
Month10
Day1
Volume Number25
Issue Number3
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Pages574 - 596
ISSN0953-8186
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

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