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

Initial Report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in respect of Hong Kong under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (“the Report”)

Members noted a summary of the views of non-government organisations (NGOs) and the Administration’s response (Appendix) and agreed on the following contents to be included in the Panel’s draft report:

Introduction of the 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).

Separate legal representation for children and implementation of Article 37(d) of 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 :

  1. contentious matrimonial proceedings;
  2. care and protection proceedings; and
  3. criminal offences.

Secondary schooling for asylum-seeking children

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 Administration’s reservations on the Convention unacceptable.

Child abuse

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 Children’s Rights regarding statistics on child injury should be included in the Panel’s 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.

Human rights education

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.

Public education on discrimination against the disabled

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.

Regulation of formation of student associations and expression of political opinion in schools

10. As regards Regulation 98 of the Education Regulations made under the Education Ordinance, members were concerned about the following :

  1. whether it would affect freedom of thought and expression;
  2. the definition of “unbiased”; and
  3. how the Regulation was implemented by the Director of Education.

Pending the Administration’s response to this item, its inclusion would be examined again at the next meeting.

Access for children with a disability

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.

Child policy/ordinance/commission

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.

Follow-up arrangement

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.

LegCo Secretariat
9 July 1996

Last Updated on 19 Aug, 1998