ICCPR List of Issues 2020 (SoCO)
Society for Community Organization
List of issues for the Pre-sessional Working Group to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the Fourth Periodic Report of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of Chinaconcerning the rights covered by article 1 – 28 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
General legal framework within which the covenant is implemented
- Implementation of the recommendations of the Committee
- Hong Kong experienced a lot of major human rights issues from mid-2019. Those development has not been incorporated into the Fourth Periodic Report. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) should submit a follow up report covering the development in Hong Kong since mid-2019 and explain how the development impacting on the ICCPR rights.
- Society for Community Organization (SoCO) remains seriously critical of the lack of action by the HKSAR Government in implementing the recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (‘the Committee’), which are stated in the concluding observations of the Committee’s third report on the HKSAR under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Please explain how the HKSAR Government (‘the Government’) can comply strictly with its international obligations and implement the recommendations of the Committee.
- National Human Rights Commission
- The Committee already stated in its concluding observations (1995) that an independent statutory body should be established to monitor and investigate human rights and the implementation of ICCPR. However the HKSAR Government has failed to establish such a body for more than 25 years. Please explain why the Government has not yet established a statutory human rights commission, given the current lack of a comprehensive human rights protection mechanism, and the fact that areas of human rights enshrined in the ICCPR are not fully covered by present legislation.
- Legal status of the ICCPR
- At present, the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong have been incorporated into the laws of Hong Kong by the introduction of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. However, the Ordinance binds only the Government, all public authorities and any person acting on behalf of the Government or a public authority but not private persons or bodies. Please explain whether the Government intends to extend the provisions to the private sector in order to provide comprehensive legal protection as stated by the ICCPR.
- Derogations and reservations of the ICCPR
- Before the change of sovereignty, the British Government had made several derogations and reservations towards the ICCPR for Hong Kong, including areas such as the power of the armed forces and persons detained in penal establishments, juveniles under detention, immigration legislation, the decision concerning the deportation of a person not having the right of abode in Hong Kong, the establishment of Executive and Legislative Councils etc. Please explain whether the HKSAR Government would review the necessity of those derogations and the progress of such a review.
- National Security Law
- In May 2020, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China passed a resolution to authorize the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) to legislate National Security Law for HKSAR in the form of national law. It aroused widespread concern in the local and international community. The national law imposed directly by the Chinese Government towards Hong Kong may seriously violate a number of human rights, including but not limited to the right to freedom of thought, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right to freedom of association with others. The Chinese Government and the HKSAR Government should give full explanation how the legislation would be in line with ICCPR.