An anti-human trafficking group wants the Hong Kong government to stop denying the problem exists and to do something about it.
Many victims of human trafficking in Hong Kong are forced to become prostitutes and illegal workers, according to the Stop Trafficking of People (STOP) project.
Project manager Tina Chan said the group’s findings contradict the government’s repeated denials that Hong Kong is a human trafficking hub, according to Apple Daily.
Chan visited 20 victims in the past six months and helped launch the project’s bilingual website (www.stophk.org) which will go online in August.
The project is being funded by The Vine Community Services Ltd., a unit of Christian group Vine Church.
In most cases, victims are forced into prostitution. Others become illegal domestic helpers who are vulnerable to abuse, she said.
Anastasia, a 19-year-old girl from northern Russia, is one such victim.
She had been promised a well-paying sales job only to be forced into prostitution to pay off a trafficker who had taken her passport.
Another victim, a Filipino named Joy, had been tricked into coming to Hong Kong for a non-existent job.
“The government has been denying Hong Kong is a destination and transhipment hub of human trafficking but the cases we found in Hong Kong are evidence to the contrary,” Chan said.
She urged the government to face the problem and tackle it.
Last year, Hong Kong was rated level 2 in a US State Department report on the severity of human trafficking worldwide.
China was rated level 3 while Taiwan was level 1. A level 4 rating means severe human trafficking.
Translation by Charis Heung
– Contact us at [email protected]