Human rights in Hong Kong
Human rights protection is enshrined in the Basic Law and its Bill of Rights Ordinance. By virtue of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and Basic Law Article 39, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is put into effect in Hong Kong. Any legislation, inconsistent with the Basic Law can be set aside by the courts. In general, Hong Kong is perceived to enjoy a high level of civil liberties; the Hong Kong government respects the human rights of the citizens, although core issues remain. There are concerns over the freedom of assembly, restricted by the Public Order Ordinance; the police has been accused of using heavy-handed tactics towards protestors and questions are asked towards the extensive powers of the police. As to the right of privacy, covert surveillance remains the major concern. There is a lack of protection for homosexuals due to the absence of a sexual orientation discrimination law. There are comments regarding a lack of protection for labour rights. Human rights in Hong Kong comes under the spotlight of the international community because of its world city status.
This is used as a yardstick by commentators to judge whether the People's Republic of China has kept its end of the bargain of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle granted to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by its current mini-constitution, the Basic Law, under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Alleged human rights violations are sometimes used by skeptics to argue that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy is a failure. Under the Annex I of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, it stated that: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall protect the rights and freedoms of inhabitants and other persons in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region according to law; the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall maintain the rights and freedoms as provided for by the laws in force in Hong Kong, including freedom of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, to form and join trade unions, of correspondence, of travel, of movement, of strike, of demonstration, of choice of occupation, of academic research, of belief, inviolability of the home, the freedom to marry and the right to raise a family freely.
Under the Basic Law, the constitutional documents of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, certain rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents are guaranteed and safeguarded in Chapter III of the law. These rights and freedoms include: equality before the law. Article 39 expressly states that the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights, international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force in Hong Kong to the extent that they shall not contravene the provisions of the rights protected by the Basic Law. Although these rights are explicitly vested in Hong Kong residents, non-residents in Hong Kong may enjoy these rights and freedoms in accordance with law by Article 41. In addition, Article 87 protects and preserves the rights enjoyed by parties to any criminal or civil proceedings the right to fair trial by the courts without delay and the presumption of innocence until convicted by the courts.
Article 105 protects the rights of property and the right to compensation for lawful deprivation of property of individuals and legal persons. The Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, enacted in 1991, is the local adaptation of the provisions of the ICCPR as applied in Hong Kong; the Bill of Rights has been recognised by the courts as one of the constitutional documents alongside with the Basic Law. However, the fact that the Bill of Rights was enacted in the form of an Ordinance means that the Legislature can amend or repeal the Bill of Rights by an ordinanry enactment through ordinary legislative procedure, subject to judicial review. Furthermore, if any part of the Bill of Rights is held unconstitutional, the courts are bound to strike down that part. After the transfer of sovereignty, certain provisions of the Bill of Rights ceased to have effect, including sections 2 (duty
Financial Secretary (Hong Kong)
The Financial Secretary is the title held by the Hong Kong government minister, responsible for all economic and financial matters. The position is among the three most senior Principal Officials of the Government, second only to the Chief Secretary in the order of precedence. Together with other secretaries, the Financial Secretary is accountable to the Legislative Council and the territory's Chief Executive for his actions in supervising the formulation and implementation of financial and economic policies; the position evolved out of the office of the Colonial Treasurer before 1940. The Financial Secretary is a member of the Executive Council, gives advice to the Chief Executive in that capacity, he is responsible for delivering the annual budget to the Legislative Council. To date, it is the only office among the three highest Principal Officials of the Government not to have been occupied by a woman; the incumbent Financial Secretary is Paul Chan Mo-po. Edward Elmslie, 1842–1843 Charles Edward Stewart, 1843–1844 Political party: Nonpartisan The Financial Secretary's residence is on 45 Shouson Hill Road in Deep Water Bay.
It is listed as a grade 2 building. Described as a two-story neo-Georgian style residence built in 1935 and owned by Sir Shouson Chow as his own residence; the first Financial Secretary who moved into the building was Sir Charles Geoffrey Shield Follows. Hong Kong portal Financial Secretary
Chief Executive of Hong Kong
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and head of the Government of Hong Kong. The position was created to replace the Governor of Hong Kong, the representative of the Monarch of the United Kingdom during British rule; the office, stipulated by the Hong Kong Basic Law, formally came into being on 1 July 1997 when the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China. The functions of the Chief Executive include nominating principal officials for appointment by the Central People's Government of China, headed by Premier, conducting foreign relations, appointing judges and other public officers, giving consent to legislation passed by the Legislative Council, bestowing honours; the Basic Law grants the Chief Executive a wide range of powers, but obliges him or her, before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the Legislative Council, making subsidiary legislation, dissolving the Legislative Council, to act only after consultation with the Executive Council.
The Executive Council consists of official and non-official members, including the Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, the most senior official and head of the Government Secretariat, in charge of overseeing the administration of the Government. The Chief Executive holds the title "The Honourable", ranks first in the Hong Kong order of precedence; the official residence of the chief executive is Government House in Hong Kong Island. The current Chief Executive is Carrie Lam, selected on 26 March 2017, appointed by the Central People's Government with the State Council Decree signed by Premier Li Keqiang, on 11 April 2017 and took office on 1 July 2017, she is the first woman to serve as Chief Executive. According to Article 44 of the Basic Law, the Chief Executive must be a Chinese citizen as defined by the HKSAR Passports Ordinance; the individual must be at least 40 years old, a Hong Kong permanent resident, a Chinese citizen with right of abode in Hong Kong, has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years.
Article 47 further requires that the Chief Executive be a person of integrity, dedicated to his or her duties. In addition, since the 4th Chief Executive term, candidates may not stand for selection by the Election Committee without first obtaining 150 nominations from its members; the Chief Executive is elected from a restricted pool of candidates supportive of the Central Government by a 1200-member Election Committee, an electoral college consisting of individuals and bodies selected or elected within 28 functional constituencies, as prescribed in Annex I to the Basic Law. In the first election of the Chief Executive, the Committee consisted of only 400 members, it was expanded to 800 for the second term. As a result of enabling legislation stemming from a public consultation in 2010, its approval by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in Beijing, the number of representatives was increased from 800 to 1200; the functional constituencies correspond to various sectors of the economy and society, each of which hold their own internal procedures to select electors.
The chosen Chief Executive must be appointed by the Central People's Government before taking office. According to Article 46 the term of office of the Chief Executive is five years with a maximum of two consecutive terms. If a vacancy occurs mid-term, the new chief executive's first term is for the remainder of the previous Chief Executive's term only; the method of selecting the Chief Executive is provided under Article 45 and Annex I of the Basic Law, the Chief Executive Election Ordinance. According to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, the winning candidate in the Chief Executive election shall, within 7 working days after the election, publicly make a statutory declaration that he or she is not a member of any political party and will not become a member of any political party or do any act that has the effect of subjecting himself to the discipline of any political party during his or her term of office. Under the Basic Law the Chief Executive is the chief representative of the people of Hong Kong and is the head of the government of Hong Kong.
The CE's powers and functions include leading the government, implementing the law, signing bills and budgets passed by the Legislative Council, deciding on government policies, advising appointment and dismissal of principal officials of the Government of Hong Kong to the Central People's Government, appointing judges and holders of certain public offices and to pardon or commute sentences. The position is responsible for the policy address made to the public; the CE's powers and functions are established by Article 48 of the Basic Law. The Executive Council of Hong Kong is an organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy-making; the council is consulted before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the Legislative Council, making subordinate legislation or dissolving the Legislative Council. Article 52 stipulates circumstances. Examples include the loss of ability to discharge his or her duties or refusal to sign a bill passed by a two-thirds majority of the Legislative Council.
The acting and succession line is spelled out in Article 53. If the Chief Executive is not able to discharge his or her duties for short periods, the duties would be assumed by the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Financial Secretary or the Secretary for Justice, by rotation, in that order, as acting Chief Executive. In
Auxiliary Medical Service
Auxiliary Medical Service is a voluntary medical and health services provider in Hong Kong. Its mission is to supply and efficiently regular services to maintain the health and well-being of people in Hong Kong; the Hong Kong Government decided to form the Auxiliary Medical Service in order to create a force that could assist the regular medical services during emergencies. The establishment of the AMS was announced in the government gazette on 22 December 1950. In early 1951 the AMS made a call for volunteers, including ordinary people who could be trained as auxiliary nurses, ambulance drivers, other roles; as the population of Hong Kong swelled with refugees from China in the post-Chinese Communist Revolution years, many lived in substandard housing areas susceptible to fires, landslips and other disasters, for which the AMS played a role in delivering emergency medical treatment. In the 1950s, AMS worked with St. John Ambulance to establish first aid posts all around the territory; the AMS was involved in major events like the Shek Kip Mei fire in 1953, Typhoon Wendy in 1962 and landslides caused by heavy rainstorms in 1972.
It served during SARS in Hong Kong in 2003 and 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. It sends out volunteers to fireworks displays and other major events. In 1983, AMS became an independent government operation branch under the Security Department of the Government Secretariat. A public hotline for enquiry about the services of AMS and a Non-Emergency Ambulance Transport team were set up in 1995 and 1996 respectively; the Youth Ambassador Scheme has been implemented in 1997 with the objectives to encourage young people to have a healthy lifestyle and promote a sense of civic duties. As of 2007, the number of volunteers had grown to 4,418. A list of vehicles used in the past and present: Past Land Rover Defender ambulances Mercedes-Benz E-310 ambulances Honda CBX750 motorcycle BMW R850RT motorcyclePresent Mercedes-Benz 516CDI ambulance Toyota Coaster ambulance BMW R900RT motorcycle Toyota Hiace Mobile Command Post Merida Mountain Bike The Auxiliary Medical Service has over 4,700 uniformed members, is divided into six columns: HQ Column Operations Wing 1 Hong Kong Island Operating Region Kowloon East Operating Region Kowloon West Operating Region Operations Wing 2 New Territories East Operating Region New Territories West Operating Region Training and Development Column Medical and Paramedic Column Logistics and Support ColumnThe headquarters column is composed of civil service staff of the AMS.
The operations wings are responsible for frontline account for the majority of members. The training and development column is responsible for providing first aid and infection control training to all members; the medical and paramedic column is responsible for the Health Protection Section, Emergency Task Force, Reserve Personnel Section. Its members are professional doctors and professionally trained personnel. In the event of a major incident, the medical and paramedic column will provide personnel to lead in rescue and medical efforts; the logistics and support column is responsible for the delivery of materials and members to stations and incidents, as well as the welfare of members of the AMS. Public relations and the Band of the AMS are the responsibility of the logistics and support column; the First Aid Bicycle Team was established in 2002. First aid cyclists provide first aid services on Saturdays and public holidays for people travelling to Tai Po, Ma On Shan, Shatin; the First Aid Bicycle Team is divided into the following sections: Shatin Section Ma On Shan Section Whitehead Section Tai Po Section Tai Po Seaside Section Sheung Shui Section The current crest of the force was adopted in 1997 to replace most of the colonial symbols on the old crest: St Edward's Crown replace with Bauhinia Laurel wreath retained but wording AMS replaced with "醫療輔助隊" Motto with wording "Hong Kong" replaced with "Auxiliary Medical Services"Source: Auxiliary Medical Service Official website
Secretary for Security
The Secretary for Security is the member of the Hong Kong Government in charge of the Security Bureau, responsible for public safety and immigration matters. The post was created in 1973 and since the Principal Officials Accountability System was adopted in 2002, the Secretary for Security has been a member of the Executive Council. Before 1973 the office was known as the Secretary for Defence. Areas of responsibility include: Police Force Correctional Services Immigration Department Customs and Excise Department Fire Services Department Government Flying Service Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre Political party: Nonpartisan
Immigration Department (Hong Kong)
The Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong is responsible for immigration control of Hong Kong. After the People's Republic of China assumed sovereignty of the territory in July 1997, Hong Kong's immigration system remained unchanged from its British predecessor model. Residents from mainland China do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong, nor can they enter the territory both before and after 1997. There are different regulations that apply to residents of Macau, another Special Administrative Region of China. In addition, visa-free entry acceptance regulations into Hong Kong for passport holders of some 170 countries remain unchanged before and after 1997. In a special arrangement, although Hong Kong's residents of Chinese descent are defined as citizens of the People's Republic of China, as stipulated by the Basic Law, Hong Kong's Immigration Department is independently responsible for issuing Hong Kong SAR passports for Hong Kong residents who are PRC citizens seeking international travel.
Prior to the 1950s, immigration to Hong Kong was not controlled by the government of Hong Kong and migrants entered Hong Kong. But the end of World War II the influx of migrants from China to Hong Kong to flee Communist rule resulted in immigration control. From 1949 to 1961, registration of persons with identification was required under the Registration of Persons Ordinance 1949 and established a Commissioner of Registration; until the establishment of Immigration Department on 4 August 1961, immigration control in Hong Kong was handled by the Hong Kong Police Force. The Immigration Service Ordinance 1961 created the new department in charge of immigration control. In 1977, the department enlarged its functions to cover registration of persons by amalgamating with the Registration of Persons Office and Director of Immigration assumed as Commissioner of Registration. In 1979, the department took over from the Registrar General civil registration duties and the Director of Immigration was appointed as Registrar of Births and Deaths, Registrar of Marriages.
The Department is headquartered in the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai North. The Department performs the following role. Immigration control at the checkpoints HK Resident Affairs Issuing Hong Kong Identity Card Birth registration Death certification Marriage certification Registering/Denouncing Chinese citizenship Naturalization of HK permanent residents who wish to be Chinese citizens Issuing Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport to permanent residents who are Chinese citizens Under the terms of the Basic Law of Hong Kong and explanations on implementing the Nationality Law, both by PRC lawmakers, the Immigration Department issues the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport and other international travel documents on its own, is in charge of administering the Nationality Law within its realms; this is a rare exception to the rule that issuing passports and administering nationality-related matters are under the purview of an authority of the central/national government of a state.
Issuing Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes for HK residents who can obtain neither a national passport nor Hong Kong passport. Erick Tsang Kwok-wai Eric Chan, IDSM Simon Peh, IDSM Lai Tung Kwok, IDSM Ambrose Lee, IDSM Regina Ip The Immigration Department was responsible for BN passport applications and data prior to 1 July 1997. Prior to the handover, all information was transferred to Hong Kong. Inquiries in regards to BNs are now made to any British diplomatic missions overseas. Visa policy of Hong Kong Hong Kong Police Force Marine Region Immigration Ordinance As with all of the HK Disciplined Services, British-pattern ranks and insignia continue to be utilised, the only change being the exchange of the St. Edward's Crown for the Bauhinia Flower crest post-1997. Director of Immigration Deputy Director of Immigration Assistant Director of Immigration Senior Principal Immigration Officer Principal Immigration Officer Assistant Principal Immigration Officer Chief Immigration Officer Senior Immigration Officer Immigration Officer Immigration Officer Assistant Immigration Officer Chief Immigration Assistant Senior Immigration Assistant Immigration Assistant The current crest of the force was adopted in 1997 to replace most of the colonial symbols: St Edward's Crown replace with Bauhinia Laurel wreath remains but badge with wording Immigration Service – HK" replace with an image of Tsing Ma Bridge is added Motto added with wording "Hong Kong Immigration 香港入境處"Source: Immigration Department Instead of the Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver distributed between disciplinary services in Hong Kong, the officers are trained in the use of, issued, the ASP expandable baton and the Sabre Red pepper spray for self-defence options.
A type of pepper gun is standard issue equipment for officers stationed at the Immigratio
Secretary for Justice (Hong Kong)
The Secretary for Justice is the head of the Hong Kong Department of Justice, the chief legal advisor to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the chief law enforcement officer of the Government of Hong Kong. Before the Transfer of the Sovereignty in 1997, the position was known as the Attorney-General of Hong Kong; the Secretary for Justice, nominated by the Chinese government on the advice of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, is an ex officio member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong. The Secretary takes office after appointment by the Government of the People's Republic of China, responsible for Hong Kong's foreign affairs and defence; the Secretary for Justice belongs to the Policy Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary, The Office of the Secretary for Justice was established by the Hong Kong Basic Law, which guarantees the power of the Department of Justice to control criminal prosecutions free from any interference. The position is held by a legal professional, was, before July 2002, a civil service position.
The Secretary for Justice, after the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary, is one of the three highest Principal Officials of the Government. The current Secretary for Justice is Teresa Cheng, GBS, SC, JP. In the course of discharging his or her duties as the chief legal advisor to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Secretary for Justice is assisted by five law officers, namely: the Solicitor General who heads the Legal Policy Division, the Director of Public Prosecutions who head the Prosecutions Division, the Law Officer who heads the Civil Law Division, the Law Officer who heads the International Law Division, the Law Draftsman who heads the Law Drafting Division The Secretary for Justice is the third in line, after the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary, to act for the Chief Executive when he or she is on leave, outside Hong Kong, or when the position is otherwise temporarily vacant; the Secretary for Justice ranks fifth in the Hong Kong order of precedence. The Secretary for Justice has an official residence at The Peak.
Before the 1997 handover to China, the position was known as the Attorney General, the department was known as the Legal Department and was known as the Attorney General's Chambers. The office of the Attorney General was never localized during British rule and no Hong Kong Chinese held this key post. Political party: Nonpartisan Attorney general Justice minister Minister of Justice, who performs similar functions to his or her Hong Kong counterpart