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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Destination Hong Kong

After calling to the Hong Kong Bar in 1985, I began to focus on international protection of human rights. I studied the subject in my first LLM and then went to Strasbourg's International Institute of Human Rights to learn from United Nations practitioners in 1987. One memorable remark was: "Asylum seekers can seek, but asylums may not be granted."

Asylum is a place of refuge in Ancient Greece or Rome. Some people have no choice but to leave their countries of origin because their rights such as: to life, against torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and free from persecution are not secured. Hearing Hong Kong's high standards of fairness, therefore: Destination Hong Kong!

I have been briefed to protect the rights of some asylum seekers. Whether they would be allowed to stay in Hong Kong depends very much on the special circumstances of their cases. In the course of our engagement, I saw hope in their eyes and heard how appreciative they were during their initial stay in Hong Kong.

"Unlike my home country, Hong Kong is a very peaceful and secured place, both day and night." One asylum seeker remarked from his heart. I knew he had to separate from his loved ones to explore a possible better future here. Walking past places and people in the uneventful Hong Kong today, I reflected on his story and felt life here was really good!

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