Updated: Aug 1
1 June 2023 – The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has released recommendations to promote women’s rights in Hong Kong in response to its 85th session that included China’s state report, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s written and oral statements and other testimonies.
During the CEDAW session, Hong Kong government representatives referred to the evidence from the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation and other Hong Kong human rights organisations as “false”, “distorted” and “malicious”. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation responded to the Hong Kong authorities in a joint statement. Today, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation is pleased the CEDAW considered our recommendations by advising the Hong Kong government to:
"Encourage reporting of all forms of gender-based violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence, as well as cyberviolence and stalking, including by establishing special gender-responsive units in police stations to receive and register women’s complaints and by adopting and adequately funding a witness protection programme." (§70)
"It is concerned that not a single Hong Kong woman has been appointed as a permanent Justice on the Court of Final Appeal. It is further concerned that the annual Labour and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality March could not take place in 2023 purportedly for security reasons." (§73)
"Take into consideration the paramount importance of the right of peaceful assembly and refrain from over-prioritizing public order and security concerns when considering restrictions on democratic manifestations such as the annual Labour and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality March." (§74)
Megan Khoo, Communications Manager for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said:
“It is encouraging that the CEDAW accounted for our evidence in their recommendations to the Hong Kong government. The CEDAW heeded our call to press into the increasing gender-based violence including cyberviolence and stalking towards women in Hong Kong. The CEDAW also questioned the cancellation of the annual International Women’s Day march in Hong Kong due to “security reasons”. The world cannot accept Hong Kong’s rapid erosion of women’s rights under the National Security Law which violate international law. We welcome these recommendations and look forward to continuing to hold the authorities accountable for the protection of women’s rights in Hong Kong.”