LC Paper No. CB(2) 484/98-99
(These minutes have been seen
by the Administration)
Ref : CB2/PL/SE/1
LegCo Panel on Security
Minutes of meeting held on Thursday, 3 September 1998 at 2:30 pm
in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building
Hon James TO Kun-sun (Chairman)
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon Christine LOH
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Public Officers attending:
Clerk in attendance:
- Item III
- Mr Raymond WONG
- Deputy Secretary for Security (1
- Mr Patrick LI
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (E) (Ag)
- Mr LAM Kin
- Assistant Commissioner of Police (Support) (Ag)
- Mr CHU Chi-pak
- Chief Inspector (Licensing)
- Item IV
- Mr K S SO
- Deputy Secretary for Security (3) (Ag)
- Mr K Y MAK
- Assistant Director of Immigration
- Item V
- Mr Raymond WONG
- Deputy Secretary for Security (1)
- Mr Patrick LI
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (E) (Ag)
- Mr CHAN Wai-ki
- Chief Superintendent Crime HQ
- Miss Agnes CHEUNG
- Senior Assistant Solicitor General (Ag)
- Mr Andrew Bruce
- Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions
Staff in attendance:
- Mrs Sharon TONG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)1
I. Confirmation of minutes of previous meeting
- Miss Betty MA
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 1
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 194/98-99)
The minutes of meeting were confirmed.
Matters arising from previous meeting
|2. Regarding the feasibility of giving a closed door briefing by the Commissioner of Police on the arrest of a cross-border gang who were alleged to have carried out a number of serious crimes, the Chairman advised that the Police was still considering the proposal. The Chairman would inform members of the outcome in due course.||Chairman |
II. Date of next meeting and items for discussion
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 193/98-99(01))
Items for discussion at the next Panel meeting
3. Members agreed to discuss the following items at the next Panel meeting to be held on 8 October 1998 -
- Service culture : improvement to police stations;
- Licensing of karaoke establishment; and
- Recent riot at the Ma Po Ping Prison.
4. The Chairman said that the next Panel meeting scheduled for 8 October 1998 clashed with the Chief Executive's Question and Answer Session to be held in the same afternoon. Members agreed to postpone the Panel meeting to commence at 4:30 pm on the same date.
(Post-meeting note : The regular meeting in October was re-scheduled for 13 October 1998 at 4:30 pm.)
Plan for Panel visit
5. Regarding members' proposal raised at the last meeting to visit the ICAC, the Chairman said that the ICAC had extended an invitation to members and proposed that the visit be followed by a lunch in its canteen. Members agreed that the visit be conducted in late October 1998. The Clerk would follow-up with the ICAC.
(Post-meeting note : The visit was scheduled for the morning on 22 October 1998.)
|6. The Chairman said that the Commissioner of Correctional Services had extended an invitation to the Panel and other members of the Legislative Council to visit CSD's Staff Training Institute and Stanley Prison. Members were of the view that since they had visited the Stanley Prison on several occasions, they would
prefer to visit other penal institutions in late 1998.||Clerk |
|7. The Chairman opined that given the close co-operation between the Mainland public security authorities and the Police in Hong Kong, he suggested to visit the relevant public security authorities in Guangdong and Schenzhen to facilitate members' understanding. He would liasie with the Administration to explore the feasibility of arranging such a visit.||Chairman
III. Firearms and Ammunition (Amendment) Bill
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 193/98-99(02) and CB(2) 193/98-99(03))
8. At the invitation of the Chairman, Deputy Secretary for Security (1) (DS/S(1)) briefed members on the information paper provided by the Administration. He pointed out that the objective of the amendments proposed to the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance was to strengthen the regulation of shooting clubs, arms licences holders, arms dealers, air guns, deactivated firearms and the use of modified firearms for TV/film production in order to better protect public safety. The Administration intended to introduce the Bill into the Legislative Council later this year. The Bill would come into effect one year after its enactment.
9. DS/S(1) added that the Bill was introduced into the then Legislative Council in 1996, but it lapsed after the 1996/97 legislative session as the then Legislative Council did not have time to scrutinize the Bill. One major new proposal would be added to the Bill when it was to be re-introduced, i.e. to empower the Commissioner of Police to amend a licence. Under the existing legislation, the Commissioner was empowered to cancel but not to amend a licence. In addition, it was proposed that any applicant who was aggrieved by the Commissioner's decision to amend a licence could appeal to the Administrative Appeals Board which would be chaired by a High Court Judge together with two unofficial members.
10. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong was concerned about the safety of firearms taken out of approved premises, e.g. ranges. He questioned whether there was any control on the movement of firearms outside approved premises. Chief Inspector (Licensing) (CIP(Lic)) advised that under the existing legislation, firearms could only be used within approved ranges of shooting clubs or other approved ranges for competition purpose. Anyone intended to move firearms from an approved location to another location must obtain a licence from the Commissioner of Police prior to effecting the movement. It was against the law if a person failed to comply with the licensing requirements. Such approval for limited movement of firearms was granted on a case-by-case basis. DS/S(1) said that the Administration was concerned about the movement of firearms and had accordingly proposed legislative amendments governing the appointment of agents who might be involved in handling firearms to ensure their suitability.
11. The Chairman enquired whether an existing licensee had to submit a fresh application for possession of firearms when he moved into a new premise, and whether the Administration was taking the opportunity to re-examine the suitability of the licensee. In response, CIP/Lic advised that the licensee did not need to file a fresh application but needed only to apply for an amendment of the licence. In considering the application, the Police would consider whether the licensee had the continued need for possession of the firearms at home, for instance, he might no longer be a member of a shooting club or he had not used firearms for a considerable period. He stressed that the Police had not refused any existing licensees for continued possession simply because he had moved to a new residence. ACP(Sup) added that the Police would also need to examine whether the facility of the licensee's new premise was suitable for storing the firearms.
12. Responding to Mrs Selina CHOW, CIP/Lic said that TV/film producers and other relevant persons involved in the handling of the modified firearms were required to obtain exemption permits. The validity of the permit was two months. The processing time taken would be no more than ten days as stipulated in the performance pledge. The applicants did not need to specify the exact dates for using modified firearms in TV/film. Instead, the exemption permit holders were required to seek permission from the Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) at least three working days before using modifed firearms in TV/film production in order to ensure that no other activities were being conducted simultaneously at the same place.
Mrs Selina CHOW urged the Administration to adopt a flexible approach in dealing with the applications from the TV/film producers for exemption permits for possession of modified firearms. ACP(Sup) said that exemption permits for possession of firearms modified for TV/film production purpose were normally issued ahead of the target set in the performance pledge. The Police was considering setting up a hotline in PPRB to resolve any problems that might arise in connection with TV/film locating shooting.
13. In response to another question from Mrs Selina CHOW, CIP/Lic advised that when a fresh application for the possession of firearms was received, the applicant would have to pass a test on the knowledge of the safe use of the type of firearms. The Police would also consider whether the type of firearms under applications was suitable for possession by a member of the public as well as check against the applicant's background. The applicant would also be required to provide additional information to justify his need for possessing firearms given that he might alternatively use the firearms owned by the shooting club for recreational or sporting purposes. A licence for possession of arms would normally be issued within 28 days as set out in the performance pledge. Unduly processing time taken was usually due to the need for an exchange of correspondence, time needed for the applicant to alter the fittings of the storage area of arms or to re-sit the test on knowledge of the safe use of arms.
14. The Chairman asked whether there was a policy change in that members of the public were not encouraged to possess firearms unless they could prove their need to do so. DS/S(1) said that the objective of the proposed amendments to tighten licensing control on arms and ammunition was to better safeguard public safety. On issue of a licence for possession of firearms by an individual, the Police had to consider the safe storage of firearms in private premises in the interest of public safety and his need for possessing the firearms. Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (E) (Ag) (PAS/S(E)(Ag)) added that the Administration had no intention to hinder the development of shooting sport. The parties concerned, e.g. shooting clubs had been consulted and they supported the proposed legislative amendments in principle.
15. In response to a follow-up question from the Chairman, ACP(Sup) advised that a licence for possession of firearms was issued for using firearms for recreational and sporting purposes rather than for collection purpose. Under the existing practice, if a person wished to possess firearms, he would have to become a member of a shooting club and obtain the recommendation from the shooting club. DS/S(1) added that there was a set of guidelines on keeping deactivated firearms for adornment purposes. Any person wishing to possess deactivated firearms for such purposes might make reference to that set of guidelines.
IV. Immigration (Amendment) Bill - illegal workers on construction sites
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 193/98-99(04))
16. Deputy Secretary for Security (3) (Ag) (DS/S(3))(Ag) took members through the information paper. In brief, he said that despite the number of illegal immigrants had dropped substantially over the past few years, there was an increase in the number of arrests of illegal workers. Section 38A of the Immigration Ordinance was introduced in 1990 to hold construction site controllers liable for illegal immigrants found on their sites. However, this section did not cover other types of illegal workers, such as Two-way Permit holders (TWPHs) and visitors, taking up illegal employment on construction sites. To remove the loophole, the Administration planned to expand the scope of section 38A to include other types of illegal workers. Under the proposed legislative amendments, if a person who was not lawfully employable had breached a condition of stay by taking up employment on a construction site, the construction site controller committed an offence and was liable to a fine. It was a defence in proceedings for the person charged to prove that he had taken all practicable steps to prevent persons who were not lawfully employable from taking employment on the site. DS/S(3)(Ag) stressed that under the proposed legislation, a construction site controller would not be liable simply because a person not lawfully employable was found on his site. The controller would be liable only if that person took up employment on his site.
17. Mr Ronald ARCULLI pointed out that under the proposed amendments, a site controller had to prove that he had taken all practicable steps to prevent persons who were not lawfully employable from taking employment on the site. Given the sub-contracting system adopted by the construction industry, he wondered if subcontractors or sub-subcontractors should also be held responsible when a person not lawfully employable was found on the construction site. He also doubted if the Administration made such proposal in the light of insufficient resources for carrying out regular site inspections.
|18. In response, the Administration reiterated that the proposed legislative amendments were aimed at addressing the difficulties encountered in identifying the employer of an illegal worker on a construction site having regard to the sub-contracting system adopted by the construction industry. Under the existing legislation, when an illegal immigrant was arrested on a construction site, he could be prosecuted and be convicted under section 38(1)(b) of the Immigration Ordinance on the ground that he entered and remained in Hong Kong illegally, regardless whether he had taken up employment on the construction site or not. If the illegal immigrant in question was subsequently proved to have taken up illegal employment, prosecution against his employer would be instituted separately under section 17I (which makes it an offence to employ a person who is not lawfully employable) or section 17J (which imposes a duty on an employer to inspect identification documents of new employee) of the Immigration Ordinance. Given the complicated sub-contracting system adopted in the construction industry, it was indeed very difficult for the enforcement departments to go through all the different steps involved in the system to trace the actual employer of an illegal worker. It was impracticable to mount observations on construction site workers in order to identify their employers, as that being done in other places of employment such as cafes or restaurants, taken into account the size of construction sites and the different layers of works involved. In the event that the employer of the illegal immigrant in question could not be identified, prosecution of an employer could not be instituted under section 17I, and then section 38A would be applicable. Whilst for other types of illegal workers (such as TWPHs) arrested on a construction site, the enforcement departments could not invoke Section 38A against the site controller if the actual employers could not be identified or could not be prosecuted for want of evidence. As to the question on how to define a person who was working on a construction site, that would be a question of proof. It was against this background that the Administration planned to amend the Immigration Ordinance in order to enhance its ability to tackle the problem of illegal employment on construction sites. Members were assured that notwithstanding the difficulties encountered, the enforcement departments would make every effort to trace the employers of illegal workers in the first instance. The Administration undertook to provide information on the average penalty imposed on employers of the illegal workers.||Adm|
DS/S(3)(Ag) explained that the definition of the site controller meant a principal or main contractor and included a subcontractor, owner, occupier or other person who had control over or was in charge of a construction site. He clarified that it was not necessary that only the principal or main contractor would be liable to prosecution if illegal workers were found on the construction site. Provided that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the illegal workers were under the employment of certain contractors, subcontractors or even sub-subcontractors, the relevant level of contractors would be prosecuted under the proposed legislation.
|19. In response to Mr LEE Cheuk-yan's suggestion on the introduction of a demerit point system so as to increase the deterrent effect on the employment of illegal workers, DS/S(3)(Ag) said that the number of illegal immigrants arrested on construction sites had been decreasing in recent years. The penalties imposed on both the illegal immigrants and their employers had been increased considerably. He added that the Housing Authority had adopted a penalty system in respect of those contractors who were proved to have employed illegal immigrants on their sites, i.e. the relevant contractors would be prohibited from future tendering exercises after two such cases were discovered. Guidelines had also been issued to the works departments that when tenders were considered, contractors' employment track records were one of the major factors for consideration. If a contractor owned a poor track record, his chance of being awarded with a tender would be correspondingly reduced. As to whether similar system would be extended to the employment of TWPHs on construction sites would be further considered by the Administration. Members requested the Administration to advise in writing on the penalty system adopted by the works departments.||Adm|
20. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan further opined that the principal contractor could take various administrative measures to ensure no illegal workers were found on his site, such as requiring every worker on his site to wear a work permit or not allowing the entry of visitors. DS/S(3)(Ag) said that many of the contractors in the construction industry had introduced a code of practice on how to strengthen the security of construction sites after the introduction of the existing section 38A. Under the proposed legislative amendments, a site controller would have the responsibility to ensure all workers on his site were lawfully employed. Hence, the relevant contractors might consider introducing new measures to cope with the requirements if the proposed legislative amendments was enacted.
21. While appreciating the need to impose self-regulation for not engaging illegal workers by the different levels of contractors in the construction industry, Mr Ronald ARCULLI pointed out that such measures would increase the administrative costs on the part of contractors. In the light of the difficulties encountered, he urged the Administration to discuss with the Hong Kong Construction Association Ltd. on the implications of the proposed legislative amendments. DS/S(3)(Ag) responded that the Administration was most willing to discuss with the trade to work out what measures could be adopted to prevent illegal workers from being employed on construction sites.
22. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong said that under the proposed legislative amendments, it was a defence in proceedings for the person charged only if he could prove that he had taken all practicable steps to prevent a person not lawfully employable by taking up employment on the site. He was of the view that it was of utmost importance for the Administration to spell out "all practicable steps" in order that the reliability and predictability of the piece of legislation could be assured. DS/S(3)(Ag) advised that whether a person being charged was considered to have taken all practicable steps was a question of evidence. It was up to the courts to determine having regard to the circumstances of each case, i.e. steps should have been taken to forestall the problems within the available resources. He pointed out that there were cases in which site controllers were acquitted. For instance, the relevant site controllers might be regarded as having taken all practicable steps if they had set up hoardings, put up warning signs, deployed watchmen on the site or issued working permits to site workers and so on. The construction sector could make reference to the precedent court cases.
|23. To facilitate members' understanding what "all practicable steps were", Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong requested and the Administration agreed to provide information on the number of site controllers who were not prosecuted despite illegal workers were arrested on the site, together with the reasons for not instituting prosecutions.||Adm|
|24. Noting from the information paper that more than 2 400 TWPHs were arrested on construction sites between 1995 and May 1998, Mr Ronald ARCULLI requested the Administration to advise in writing on the number of these illegal workers who were prosecuted and the number of employers of these illegal workers who were identified and charged subsequently.||Adm
25. In response to a follow up question from the Chairman, Assistant Director/Immigration Department (AD/ID) said that the successful rate in respect of instituting prosecutions against those employers of illegal workers was rather low because of the difficulties encountered in identifying the employers in question. Even if illegal workers were found on construction sites, it was not easy to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute their employers as there were often no employment contracts. Besides, most of the illegal workers were unwilling to testify against their employers. Only about 20-30% of the cases in which the employers of illegal workers could be identified.
26. Responding to another question from the Chairman, AD/ID said that when the Administration carried out anti-illegal workers enforcement operations, it would endeavour to ascertain the actual employers of illegal workers. The Administration faced no difficulties in arresting illegal workers, the problems however lied with whether sufficient proof could be collected to substantiate prosecutions against the illegal workers or their employers thereafter. DS/S(3)(Ag) added that TWPHs were allowed to visit any places within Hong Kong, including construction sites, during their stay in Hong Kong. Unless TWPHs were in breach of their condition of stay, such as taking up unlawful employment, it would be unreasonable to hold site controllers responsible simply because TWPHs were found on their sites.
|27. Mr Ronald ARCULLI noted from para. 6 of the information paper that there were 1 405 TWPHs arrested at work in the first five months in 1998 and that 700 of them were arrested on construction sites. He asked where and under what circumstances the other 705 TWPHs were arrested. DS/S(3)(Ag) advised that these TWPHs were found taking illegal employment in places such as restaurants, factories, shops etc. Since the arrest figure in respect of TWPHs on construction sites had increased significantly, the Administration was of the view that the Immigration Ordinance needed to be amended to tackle the problem of illegal employment on construction sites. At the request of Mr Andrew CHENG, the Administration would provide information after the meeting on the number of employers of these 705 TWPHs who were prosecuted under section 17I of the Immigration Ordinance.||Adm|
V. Child pornography
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 193/98-99(05) and CB(2) 172/98-99(01))
28. At the invitation of the Chairman, DS/S(1) briefed members on the information paper. Given children were unable to protect themselves and were incapable of making independent decisions, they were more vulnerable to become victims of sexual abuses therefore required better protection. In response to the call of the community, the Administration intended to introduce legislation to protect children against child pornography and child sex tourism . The proposed legislation would send out a message that the Government and the community could not tolerate such behaviour. Statistics available from the Police indicated that the problem of child pornography was not serious though it existed in Hong Kong. To prevent the situation from deteriorating and to better protect children, any persons knowingly possessing child pornographic articles, procured or employed children for child pornography, advertised or distributed child pornography would be regarded as committing an offence under the proposed legislation. Regarding child sex tourism, it was considered that Hong Kong should contribute in an international effort to combat such behaviour. Legislation providing existing offences against sexual abuse of children under the Crimes Ordinance with extra-territorial effect would be needed.
|29. In response to Mrs Selina CHOW, Chief Superintendent (Crime)/CSP(Crime) advised that the six cases, mentioned in para.5 of the information paper, involving production/distribution of child pornography had been concluded. CSP(Crime) undertook to provide details in respect of the sentencing of these cases after the meeting.||Adm
30. Noting from the information paper that those materials produced for legitimate reasons would not be regarded as child pornography, Mrs Selina CHOW enquired about the criteria for such exemptions in particular for artistic purpose. DS/S(1) advised that COIAO had similar exemption provisions. It would be for the court to determine whether the use was legitimate after taking into account all the evidence produced by the prosecution.
31. In response to a follow-up question from the Chairman, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution (SADPP) advised that section 28 of COIAO allowed for the purpose of defence of public good. In addition, Article 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights provided for the general right of freedom of expression, freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds subject to the protection of public morals. If provisions similar to section 28 of COIAO were made under the proposed legislation, the decision of whether certain articles were pornographic would be left to the court.
32. Responding to Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong's enquiry about the definition of "knowingly possessing" child pornography particularly in the context of the internet, DS/S(1) said that the term "knowingly possessing" appeared in many provisions of different pieces of overseas legislation. With reference to the internet, a person would knowingly possess child pornographic articles when be deliberately downloaded the materials from the internet on his own computer and saved them or printed them out. Whether a person would be convicted of knowingly possessing pornographic articles would be a question for the court.
33. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong expressed concern about the possible difficulties encountered in the course of gathering evidence to substantiate the prosecution against a person who intended to knowingly possess pornographic articles in an electronic form. DS/S(1) agreed that it was not an easy task to gather evidence as the Police could not have access to an individual's premise freely and search for the pornographic articles saved in his computer. He pointed out that the Police would have to rely on intelligence or act on complaints. CSP(Crime) added that under COIAO, a person who simply possessed child pornographic articles was not against the law and prosecution could not be instituted.
34. In response to a follow-up question from Mrs Selina CHOW, DS/S(1) advised that in the event that the source of the web pages in question was not in Hong Kong and that the Police was aware of their existence, it would notify the relevant overseas authorities for actions. The Administration encouraged the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Hong Kong to adopt a self-regulation approach in tackling obscene material on the internet. A code of practice had been issued by the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (HKISPA) for this purpose. The ISPs would take reasonable steps to prevent users from transmitting obscene materials through the internet and to advise local providers to attach on screen warnings to those pornographic materials put on the internet. The code also embodied a complaints handling mechanism whereby a ISP Member or the HKISPA would attend to a complaint and impose appropriate sanctions, such as issuing a warning or cancelling the account, against the problematic sites. Apart from the efforts of ISPs, the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority also carried out publicity works, such as distributing publicity materials to parents and children encouraging parents to give guidance to their children when the latter surfed on the internet.
35. The Chairman pointed out that despite there was a code of practice adopted by ISPs, there were still 97 paedophile web sites, bulletin board systems, newsgroups and e-mail addresses based in Hong Kong known to the Police. He expressed doubt about the effectiveness of such code of practice. PAS/S(E) (Ag) said that the Police did face some difficulties when carrying out enforcement action. For instance, the life span of newsgroups was very short. Thus when the Police took action, they had disappeared already.
36. Referring to the definition of child pornographic article under the proposed legal framework, Mr Andrew CHENG opined that it would be difficult to differentiate whether a person was or looked like a child under the age of 16 or he/she was actually above the age of 16. DS/S(1) said that the Administration would make reference to overseas experience in drafting the bill. Generally speaking, overseas experience revealed that the court would examine all the available evidence including the appearance of the child in the article in question, medical advice, medical documents as well as the overall impression presented by the article so as to determine whether it constituted child pornography. SADPP added that there were provisions in the Criminal Procedure Ordinance and the Juvenile Offenders Ordinance to deal with the problem about the age or the apparent age of an accused person. The Law Reports showed that the courts were fully capable of determining whether an accused was a juvenile or appeared to be a juvenile.
37. Mr Andrew CHENG considered that the Administration should provide a clear definition in the proposed legislation regarding what constituted child sexual behaviour or genitals. As someone who produced or possessed an article in question might not be aware that the person appeared therein was under the age of 16 or uncertain whether the presentation of the article constituted child sexual behaviour or genitals which would be a criminal offence. The Chairman also requested the Administration to adopt a reasonable standard in drawing up the definition. DS/S(1) said that the Administration would take note of members' suggestions.
38. Mr Andrew CHENG asked whether the Obscene Articles Tribunal formed under COIAO would deal with the complaints of child pornographic articles or materials. DS/S(1) advised that under the proposed legislation against child pornography, complaints would not be referred to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for investigation as child pornography was regarded as a very serious criminal offence. The Police would institute prosecution and bring the case to the court direct.
39. Miss Christine LOH asked if sufficient resources would be made available to the Police for the implementation of the proposed legislation. Both DS/S(1) and CSP(Crime) said that the Police would make use of the existing resources to enforce the legislation.
40. Some members were of the views that some of the proposed penalties in respect of various child pornographic offences could not fully reflect the severity of the offences committed. DS/S(1) responded that the proposed penalties were drawn up having regard to penalties of sexual offences in the Crimes Ordinance and in overseas legislation. For instance, it was considered that the seriousness of procurement of children for child pornography was comparable with the offence of indecent conduct towards a child under the age of 16 under the Crimes Ordinance which attracted a maximum penalty of ten years. He assured members that the Administration would take into account members' concerns when drafting the bill.
41. Responding to Mr LEE Cheuk-yan, DS/S(1) said that the Police were aware that about 16 paedophiles in Hong Kong travelled to other countries in Asia regularly. Advertisement of this nature was not rampant in Hong Kong at the moment. Though Hong Kong did not have extra-territorial legislation criminalizing child sex tourism, the Police had been maintaining close liaison with other Interpol members on child sex tourism. Apart from the governments and police in these countries, non-government organizations, in particular those dealt with the protection of children's rights, would also collect information on sexual exploitation of children and assist the prosecutions.
|42. DS/S(1) said that, in drafting the bill, the Administration would make reference to similar legislations in countries such as Australia, USA, UK and Canada. The Administration intended to introduce the bill into the Legislative Council in mid-1999. At the request of the Chairman, DS/S(1) undertook to provide general information on the legislation adopted in these countries to prohibit child sex tourism.||Adm
43. The Chairman concluded that members supported the legislative proposal in principle.
44. The meeting ended at 5:05 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
12 October 1998