LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 1827/95-96
Ref : CB2/PL/HA
LegCo Panel on Home Affairs
Minutes of Working Group Meeting
held on Monday, 10 June 1996 at 1: 00 p.m.
in Conference Room C of the Legislative Council Building
Members Present :
Hon HO Chun-yan (Chairman)
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
Staff in Attendance :
- Mrs Anna LO
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2) 2
- Mr Raymond LAM
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 6
Members noted a summary of the views of non-government organisations (NGOs) and the Administrations response (Appendix) and agreed on the following contents to be included in the Panels draft report:
2. Members considered that the Report was incomprehensive and reflected the fact that the Administration was not fully implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention).
3. Members were of the view that the Administration was not implementing Article 37(d) of the Convention, as the statistics provided by the Administration at the LegCo sitting on 5 June 1996 indicated that only 19 out of 5,613 care or protection cases involved separate legal representation for children in the past three years. The figures also reflected a need for practitioners to be alerted of the availability of legal representation.
4. Members suggested that automatic separate legal representation should be available for :
- contentious matrimonial proceedings;
- care and protection proceedings; and
- criminal offences.
5. While recognising the financial burden of Vietnamese migrants on Hong Kong, members were of the view that formal education should be provided for the children of Vietnamese migrants because the Convention was applicable to children in Hong Kong. Members considered the Administrations reservations on the Convention unacceptable.
6. Members considered that the Administration had not given sufficient attention to the issue of child abuse. As there was insufficient information to give a full picture of child abuse in Hong Kong, the Administration should conduct surveys on the subject. It was agreed that the information provided by Mr Thomas Mulvey of the Hong Kong Committee on Childrens Rights regarding statistics on child injury should be included in the Panels report. Members also questioned the effectiveness of the early warning system. In this regard, Dr John TSE undertook to obtain more information on the issue.
(Post-meeting note : Mr Mulvey subsequently advised that the statistics were contained in the hansard of the LegCo sitting on a motion moved by Dr LEONG Che-hung on 10 February 1993 on the subject of Trauma to children.)
7. Members were of the view that the Administration had not given sufficient publicity to the Convention, as only 4,000 copies of the Convention had been issued by the Administration and most people in Hong Kong were not aware of the Convention.
8. Members considered that human rights education for children was inadequate. More resources should be allocated for enhancing the knowledge of teachers and students in the area.
9. Members considered that as a recent survey jointly conducted by Amnesty International and Oxfam Hong Kong indicated general unacceptance and discriminatory attitude towards the disabled, more education should be done in the area.
10. As regards Regulation 98 of the Education Regulations made under the Education Ordinance, members were concerned about the following :
- whether it would affect freedom of thought and expression;
- the definition of unbiased; and
- how the Regulation was implemented by the Director of Education.
Pending the Administrations response to this item, its inclusion would be examined again at the next meeting.
11. Members considered that as a short-term measure, at least one secondary/primary school in each administrative district should be physically accessible by children with a disability. In the long term, each school should be physically accessible by children with a disability.
12. Members generally supported a child policy that sought to fully implement the Convention. A child commission should also be established to monitor the implementation of the child policy. They had reservations on the need for a child ordinance.
13. Members agreed that a meeting of the working group would be held on 21 June 1996 after the House Committee meeting to continue discussion on the draft report of the Panel.
14. The meeting ended at 2:20 p.m.
9 July 1996
Last Updated on 19 Aug, 1998