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Hong Kong Program Work

Since 1996, HRIC has maintained a programme presence in Hong Kong, facilitating our work on mainland human rights issues. HRIC also has a small Hong Kong office, and we actively engage in outreach to diverse groups, including the diplomatic, NGO, and academic communities. As the central Chinese government tightens its control over Hong Kong affairs, we have expanded our programme work to specifically address heightened threats to rule of law, democracy, and human rights. We are expanding  of our capacity-building work aimed at diverse stakeholders. Our current programme work in Hong Kong includes capacity building—through workshops for Hong Kong lawyers and law students—and consulting for key civil society actors on the use of UN human rights mechanisms and special procedures, and a conversation project—Hong Kong: Conversations Toward a Democratic Future—aimed at fostering greater understanding through dialogue among young people.

2019-2022 Hong Kong Developments
2014 Hong Kong "Umbrella Movement"

Beginning in late September 2014, the people of Hong Kong have captured the world’s attention and headlines with a mass civil obedience movement called Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Their demands are clear: genuine universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive election, in accordance with Hong Kong’s Basic Law and China’s international obligations. On September 22, in response to an NPC Standing Committee decision, university students, organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Students and joined later by Scholarism, began a 5-day class boycott, followed by a sit-in. Occupy Central officially began on September 28.

Instead of suppressing the demonstrations, the use of tear gas by the police that day brought tens of thousands more to the street in the days that followed, with the number swelling to an estimated 180,000 at the peak.

Hong Kong: Conversations Toward a Democratic Future

In 2016, HRIC launched the “Hong Kong: Conversations toward a Democratic Future” project aimed at promoting engagement, mutual understanding, and mutual respect among young local Hong Kongers and mainlanders living in Hong Kong.

In the series of conversations we have convened, the participants explored a range of topics, including identity and implications for community actions, Hong Kong’s core values, factors contributing to the clash between Hong Kongers and mainlanders, and visions of Hong Kong’s possible futures. The conversations were conducted in a combination of English, Cantonese, and putonghua, as preferred by the participants.

"China Rights Forum" Dedicated Hong Kong Issues

December 6, 2021

HRIC submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, as input into a report he will present to the Human Rights Council in its 50th session in June 2022 (HRC50).

>>Read submission<<

Updated on May 16, 2022
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
Other Resources

Compendium Project
A database in Chinese of more than 400 cases related to the 2019 anti-extradition protests that were tried in Hong Kong’s magistrate courts.
A group of eight young Hong Kong lawyers
August 2021

Know Your Rights HK
Designed to help the lay person in Hong Kong to understand and exercise his/her/their legal rights, with useful information on due process and how to get free or subsidized legal aid.
Leitner Center for International Law and Justice (Fordham University) & CivicSight
May 2021

Hong Kong’s National Security Law: A Human Rights and Rule of Law Analysis
ArticleFull report.
The report, based on case data of the 113 arrests made under the National Security Law, shows that the law has been largely used to 1) limit certain forms of political speech; 2) limit foreign contacts, between Hong Kong activists and the international community; and 3) target opposition politicians and activists.
Lydia Wong and Thomas Kellogg, The Center for Asian Law at Georgetown University
February 2021

HKDC panel on Hong Kong’s latest developments—implications of the subversion charges against 47 democracy figures
March 5, 2021
October 30, 2020

Topic: Hong Kong 12 (facing prosecution in mainland China)

Hom (33:41-40:19) stresses that China’s prosecution of the HK 12 must comply with national laws and international standards and obligations—on the books and in practice.

Featuring: Michael C. Davis | Moderated by: Andrew J. Nathan | October 26, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Monday, August 17, 10:30AM – 2:00PM Eastern Time

Special Committee on Canada-China Relations (CACN).
Date & Time: Monday, August 17, 10:30AM – 2:00PM Eastern Time


The Law of the PRC on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR
  • The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: EN, CH
  • Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region gazetted: EN, CH
  • Operating Principles and Guidelines for Application for Authorization to Conduct Interception and Covert Surveillance--Issued Pursuant to Section 20 of Schedule 6 of the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: EN, CH

HRIC Resource:

Related Resources

U.S. Statements at UN Security Council

  • Statement by Kelly Craft, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, at UN Security Council Discussion of the Situation in Hong Kong (May 29, 2020): EN
  • Remarks at a UN Security Council AOB on Hong Kong (via VTC), as delivered (May 29, 2020): EN

UN Statements & Actions, & Government Responses

HRIC Interviews

HRIC Commentaries

Civil Society Efforts

A CECC hearing (livestream)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


  • Joshua Wong: Secretary-General, Demosistō and “Umbrella Movement” Leader
  • Denise Ho: Pro-democracy Activist and Cantopop Singer and Actress
  • Sunny Cheung: Spokesperson, Hong Kong Higher Education International Affairs Delegation (HKIAD)
  • Sharon Hom: Executive Director, Human Rights in China and Professor of Law Emerita, City University of New York
  • Dan Garrett, PhD: Author, Counter-hegemonic Resistance in China’s Hong Kong: Visualizing Protest in the City (2014)
"Umbrella Movement" Video Interviews