Centre for Refugees is Hong Kong’s first and only drop-in community centre for asylum seekers and refugees, providing life changing services for people who are often fleeing war, violence and persecution, who deeply deserve care, recognition, safety and a big welcoming smile.
Located at Chungking Mansions, in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, our centre serves over 600 refugees and asylum seekers, each month, providing humanitarian assistance, medical and psycho-social support, emergency response, education, employability training, empowerment and outreach.
We warmly welcome asylum seekers and refugees, regardless of their race, religion and gender identity, creating an inclusive community by fulfilling humanitarian needs, providing opportunities for the future and empowering our vibrant community to live with dignity and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
WHAT WE DO
We believe everyone is entitled to live a life without fear, with equal opportunities and with hope for the future. We want to lead the change to enable refugees to live to their full potential; becoming empowered, engaged, valued and respected members of society.
Our mission is to change lives by caring for immediate needs, building opportunities for tomorrow and creating a home-away-from-home for our cherished community.
LIVING AS A REFUGEE IN HONG KONG
Putting life on hold
There are approximately 13,000 asylum seekers in Hong Kong surviving on subsistence level Government welfare for housing, food and transport, with no rights to either volunteer or work.
Most asylum seekers initially believe Hong Kong is a secure place to seek asylum, but in fact Hong Kong is yet to sign the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which means they need to apply for official refugee status, known as ‘non-refoulement’, to avoid being returned to their home country and potentially face torture, inhumane treatment or even death. They may have to wait many years before officials decide their fate and grant official refugee status.
However, refugees are unable to become Hong Kong residents. Their long-term hope is to receive a final determination of their status as refugees and restart their lives in a third host country. While they wait, they are often stranded in Hong Kong for as long as 15-20 years in desperate conditions, all while battling uncertainty and the drawn-out asylum procedures.