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2020-06-29 HKT 23:35
Hong Kong Watch, a non-governmental organisation based in the United Kingdom established to monitor the conditions of human rights, freedoms and rule of law in Hong Kong, has launched what it calls an International Lifeboat Campaign.
A statement by the group said that "given the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong and the pending implementation of National Security Legislation, which will dismantle ‘One Country, Two Systems’ overnight and introduce an array of draconian and vague charges for ‘sedition’, ‘subversion’, and ‘colluding with foreign political forces’, many Hong Kongers are rightly re-assessing their future in the city.
The International Lifeboat Campaign for Hong Kong would ensure that Hong Kongers in need of refuge have a lifeline."
The group said it was "calling on democratic partners who have pledged their support for Hong Kong and raised concern over the National Security Law to follow through with actions, including:
Reform work and study visa programmes to make it easier for Hong Kongers to work and study abroad as a pathway to citizenship.
Reform asylum policy to make it easier for Hong Kongers in need of a lifeline to claim asylum.
Coordinate with international partners preferably through an International Contact Group to ensure that no group of Hong Kongers is unfairly left behind by filling gaps in pre-existing immigration policies."
Commenting on the launch of Hong Kong Watch’s International Lifeboat Campaign, Hong Kong Watch’s Patron, Lord David Alton said:
"Now is the time for the international community to convert statements of support into meaningful action. The natural place to start is ensuring that Hong Kongers have a viable insurance policy in the face of a further crackdown on their rights, including making it easier for Hong Kongers to study and work abroad as a pathway to citizenship."
There was no immediate comment from the SAR Government on the group's statement.