Civil Rights Education Center

Hong Kong people appear to enjoy great freedom, but some rights are inappropriately controlled by the government. After reunification with China in 1997, the power of the executive-branch government departments and law enforcement agencies have continued to expand. Some government departments and the disciplinary forces have, on occasions, abused their power and undermined basic civil rights.]

The International Covenant on Civil Rights provides that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and freedom from torture and inhuman treatment. However, after reunification with China, there has been a sharp increase of Hong Kong people being detained for unknown reasons by mainland public security authorities. The number of people detained in the mainland prior to reunification was around ten, however, after reunification over a thousand Hong Kong people are currently detained in the mainland. Hong Kong people are vulnerable to unlawful detention and abuse by mainland law enforcement agencies, as well as not having access to legal aid, legal representation, and subject to an unfair justice and court system. Millions of Hong Kong people who visit the mainland are potentially at risk of human rights and personal safety risks.

The Civil Rights Education Center successfully campaigned for the enactment of a 'Hong Kong Bill of Rights', a milestone in establishing legal protection of civil rights provisions. Our Center regularly organizes civil rights education workshops, provides cross-border legal advice and educates people on how to safeguard their basic civil rights through legal channels. SoCO issues regular reports to the United Nations using the International Covenant on Civil Rights as a reference. These reports reveal on-going inadequate social policies and violations of human rights in Hong Kong. Our Center has researched the supervision of Hong Kong's disciplinary forces, promoted the development of protection mechanisms for human rights, and been a defender of civil liberties. We are also actively pursuing more comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to improve our social policies.

The Center is active in the following:

- establishment of a civil rights law center, following-up cases in which the government may have violated civil rights, process complaints or legal action cases, seek amendments to legislation and policy to protect civil rights
- Participate in the Hong Kong Human Rights Commission, analyse local human rights issues, promote a comprehensive complaint mechanism, reflect the views of society
- follow-up over 100 civil rights related cases annually, provide legal advice and referral services
- improve the criminal notification mechanism and press for cross-border legal aid
- conduct research on improvement of legal services and disciplinary forces issues
- promote community education, organise a series of legal seminars to introduce various civil rights issues
- promote equality and anti-discrimination, fight for equal rights legislation
- follow-up screening mechanism issues for asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong, help them obtain basic social security, freedom from detention, access to education services and strive for Hong Kong's admission to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
- Successfully pushed for voting rights of imprisoned people
- Successfully enhanced the monitoring system for strip searching of people while in detention

Contact address :52 Princess Margaret Road, 3/F, Homantin, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2713 9165 Fax: (852) 2761 3326 E-mail:

(Kweilin Street Office ) Address: 1/F, 117 Kweilin Street, Sham Shu Po, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2307 9165 Fax: (852) 2729 3165
(Hai Tan Street Office) Address: 1B/F, Hai Tan Building, 149 Hai Tan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2725 3165 Fax: (852) 2720 4165