Newsletter August 2022

3 mins read
  • UN report on HK
  • Labor Notes Conference 2022
  • Stand With Ukraine
  • Updates: Union organisers behind bars

Advocacy

The UN Human Rights Committee called on the Hong Kong government to repeal the National Security Law and sedition law in its concluding observations on HK’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on July 27. 

Report highlights

  • The Hong Kong National Security Law is incompatible with international laws and standards
  • An excessive number of civil society organizations have been disbanded
  • Targeted journalists and representatives of civil society have been charged with sedition
  • Excessive surveillance and interception of trade unions’, civil society’s and the general public’s data prevails
  • Freedom of expression is curtailed under the overly broad interpretation and arbitrary application of the NSL and sedition charges
  • Arbitrary restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly are in place

This is the UN Human Rights Committee’s first concluding observations on Hong Kong’s human rights situation since the NSL was enacted in June 2020. The European Union and the UK government followed suit and issued statements calling on the Hong Kong authorities to repeal the NSL after the UN report. 

Note on the trip to Geneva

Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor’s Executive Director Siu-tat Mung attended the UN Human Rights Committee hearing in June. Mung said the committee members were very concerned about Hong Kong trade unions being accused of “colluding with foreign forces” due to their connection with international labour unions.

Mung Siu Tat meet UN human rights expert during the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Hong Kong human rights situation.

Global Solidarity

Global solidarity is a key aspect of our work at the Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor. In the past few months, we met different labour rights organisations and trade unions, including the International Labour Organisation, and international trade unions and shared the dire labour rights situation faced by trade unions in Hong Kong. Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, made a statement soon after the UN Human Rights Committee’s report. She highlighted the imprisonment of trade union leaders and de-registration of trade unions. 

Labor Notes Conference 2022 

Labor Notes

Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor’s Managing Director Cho-ming Lam joined the US labour rights organisation Labor Notes’ conference 2022 in June. He presented HKLRM’s latest report and explained how the Chinese government abuse the National Security Law and have cracked down on independent trade unions in Hong Kong. Read his interview in the Nation on how the world can protect trade unions in Hong Kong.

Stand with Ukraine

This month marks the 6-month anniversary since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Our Executive Director Siu-tat Mung spoke to Deputy Chairperson of the Confederation of the Free Trade Unions of Ukraine Nataliya Levytska, earlier. Read this interview and stay informed about what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine. (Chinese only)

Free all union organisers behind bars 

HK’s justice minister ordered Non-jury trial for HK47 NSL case 

47 activists including the Former Chairperson of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions Carol Ng and the former Former Chairperson, Hospital Authority Employee Alliance Winnie Yu, have been charged with “conspiracy to subversion” for organising an unofficial primary election among democrats two years ago. 

Last week, Justice Secretary Paul Lam ordered a non-jury trial cited ‘foreign factors’ in the case and for protection of ‘jurors and their family members’. This is the second national security case to be handled without a jury in Hong Kong. The trial would be conducted before a panel of three judges in an open court in September and November.  

Sedition case against 5 speech therapists

Five speech therapists from the General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists are charged with sedition over a series of children’s books. The Hong Kong court has ruled on prima facie evidence against them. The court will hand down the verdict on September 7.  

The latest UN Human Rights Committee report highlighted this case to illustrate how the Hong Kong authorities abuse the sedition law to silence dissidents. The report calls for a repeal of this law.

Stand with all the human rights fighters in Hong Kong. Follow our social media channels to get updates. 

This is the wrap-up of our work for the past few months. Tell us what you think about it. All comments and suggestions are welcome! Remember to follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook

In solidarity, 

HK Labour Rights Monitor

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