2002-01-09
Support for NGOs to Abode-Seekers before the CFA verdict

Joint Statement of NGOs and Individuals

Dear parents, sons and daughters and groups which fight for the right of abode,

How are you? We are a group of organizations that support the demand of the sons and daughters of Hong Kong citizens born in mainland China who seek to be united with their family.

We believe that family union is a basic human right. Every responsible government should do its best to protect each family and to ensure the right of everyone to be united with their family in order to maintain the normal and healthy development of society, a society in which children will not face discrimination because of the time and location of their birth.

The problem of the separation of families between mainland China and Hong Kong has existed for the past few decades. After the Basic Law came into effect and the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) gave its judgment on 29 January 1999 (Judgment 129), these separated families finally saw the light of hope that they would finally be reunited.

However, not only did the Hong Kong SAR government refuse to abide by the judgment of the CFA, but it also requested the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) to interpret the Basic Law, which, as a result, extinguished the hope of those sons and daughters who were born before their parents became permanent residents of Hong Kong. Since many of them are not qualified to apply for Hong Kong residency, the interpretation smashed their only opportunity to be reunited with their families. In fact, they are the natural children of Hong Kong citizens. Their parents have been working very hard for Hong Kong. Why should they face so many obstacles when they hope to be united with their children? Hong Kong has been a part of China for four years. Why are the sons and daughters of local people who were born in the mainland not permitted to be united with their families in Hong Kong? On the contrary, why can the sons and daughters born of parents from foreign countries easily enjoy the right of Hong Kong residency? We believe that the appeal of the SAR government to the NPCSC for interpretation of the CFA decision deprived the sons and daughters of local parents born in the mainland of their right of family union. Not only did the action of the government seriously damage the rule of law in Hong Kong, but it also violated the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of the United Nations.

We do not want to see the place where we have settled and lead our lives become an unfeeling community that lacks compassion. We also do not want to see our next generation live in a society filled with discrimination and prejudice.

We will continue our concern for these families as this issue further develops and will maintain our support for the peaceful actions of these sons and daughters as they seek the right of abode in Hong Kong. We thus call upon the Hong Kong SAR government to:

(1) Actively resolve this problem and refrain from all statements and actions which will increase the anxiety of children who demand the right of abode and their parents;

(2) Give effect to Judgment 129 to establish as soon as possible a fast, convenient, effective, fair, open and reasonable mechanism to unite all sons and daughters of Hong Kong citizens born in the mainland with their families as soon as possible.

We deeply believe that these actions by the government can reduce the damage that these families have suffered and the dilution of the rule of law caused by the interpretation of the NPCSC. Lastly, these actions will help to make Hong Kong an international metropolitan city full of energy, compassion and tolerance.

               

 


Organizations:

Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Diocese Hong Kong Christian Institute
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor  Asian Human Rights Commission
Student Christian Movement Diocesan Youth Commission
Christians for Hong Kong Society Labour Rights Coalition
Hong Kong Catholic Institution Staff Association Grassroots Development Centre
Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee Zi Teng
ICEMENT WORKSHOP The Frontier
Hong Kong Catholic Commission For Labour Affairs   iConcern
Kwai Chung District Basic Christians Community Grassroots Cultural Centre
PIME Social Concern Group Church Workers Association
Amnesty International Hong Kong Section Social Democratic Forum
Mission to New Arrivals Ltd.  Justice, Hong Kong Section
Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students Cooperative Social Service Centre
Hong Kong Women Christian Council