Disappointment at Hong Kong refugee welfare changes

Jody-Lan Castle

Long-awaited welfare changes to affect thousands of refugees, have come into effect today in Hong Kong.  

Increases in rental and food assistance, utility expenses and help with rental deposits are among the improvements.

African migrants Unable to work, refugees have little to do. Photo: JC

But the policy still doesn’t include the right to work, even after residing in the city for a long period of time.

A Central African lawyer-turned-charity worker, who came to Hong Kong to seek asylum in 2004, is among many who say it’s not enough. 

Robert, who fled civil war and persecution in his country, says, “It’s not at all enough. In fact, in Hong Kong there’s no way you can get a room for HK$1500. It’s just a kind of cave, a place where you put your bed, nothing more.”

The value of the food bag given to refugees and asylum seekers, three to…

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