Hong Kong (China) Immigration Detention Profile (2009)

Immigration and detention policies in Hong Kong have been driven in part by concerns over migration flows from mainland China and neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, in particular Vietnam. For many years, Hong Kong (officially, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) called itself the “first port of refuge” for refugees fleeing Vietnam, even though most arriving Vietnamese “boat people” were held in deplorable conditions at secure detention camps (Ripley 1989; Refugee Action 1986). Since China resumed sovereignty over it, Hong Kong has ended its practice of accepting Vietnamese migrants and vigorously defended its policy of refusing all asylum seekers, who are generally treated as unauthorized immigrants (HKHRM 2008; Minghua 2001).