Actions taken by the Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group to combat cases of trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic Helpers

The request was successful.

Dear Security Bureau,

With particular reference to the information herein (https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/special/bound/...), I seek the following information in respect of the actions taken by the Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group (“Working Group”) to combat cases regarding trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic Helpers:-

1. A copy of the Guideline on Inter-departmental Cooperation for the Handling of Suspected Cases of Trafficking in Persons issued by the Security Bureau in 2016, or where this information cannot be provided, an explanation of:
(i) the procedures taken by the respective departments and bureaux of the Working Group to actively facilitate identification of vulnerable persons for screening under the TIP victim screening mechanism;
(ii) the steps that vulnerable persons (or assisting civil society organizations) are required to take in order put forward such persons as potential TIP victims to the authorities; and
(iii) information on the “established mechanisms for the inter-departmental co-operation”.

2. The budget and number of staff (including the job titles of such staff) for the desk within the Prosecutions Division at the Department of Justice which was designated in April 2017 to oversee and coordinate TIP-related matters handled or submitted by law enforcement agencies for legal advice (for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

3. Clarification on the content and frequency of TIP training received by the Employment Agencies Administration (“EAA”), if any (for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

4. The number of initial TIP screenings conducted by the EAA, if any (for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

5. The number of referrals or recommendations for TIP screening made by the EAA to other departments and bureaux of the Working Group, if any (for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Yeung

Security Bureau

Dear Charlie,

Your application for Access to Information has been received.  The
application is now under processing.  We will get back to you as soon as
possible.

Yours Sincerely,

Oliver Lam
(for Secretary for Security)
Tel: 2810 2327

From:        Charlie Yeung <[FOI #469 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Security Bureau <[Security Bureau request email]>,
Date:        27/04/2020 15:39
Subject:        Freedom of Information request - Actions taken by the
Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group to combat cases of
trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic Helpers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Security Bureau,

With particular reference to the information herein
([1]https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/special/bound/...), I seek the
following information in respect of the actions taken by the
Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group (“Working Group”) to combat cases
regarding trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic
Helpers:-

1. A copy of the Guideline on Inter-departmental Cooperation for the
Handling of Suspected Cases of Trafficking in Persons issued by the
Security Bureau in 2016, or where this information cannot be provided, an
explanation of:
(i) the procedures taken by the respective departments and bureaux of the
Working Group to actively facilitate identification of vulnerable persons
for screening under the TIP victim screening mechanism;
(ii) the steps that vulnerable persons (or assisting civil society
organizations) are required to take in order put forward such persons as
potential TIP victims to the authorities; and
(iii) information on the “established mechanisms for the
inter-departmental co-operation”.

2. The budget and number of staff (including the job titles of such staff)
for the desk within the Prosecutions Division at the Department of Justice
which was designated in April 2017 to oversee and coordinate TIP-related
matters handled or submitted by law enforcement agencies for legal advice
(for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

3. Clarification on the content and frequency of TIP training received by
the Employment Agencies Administration (“EAA”), if any (for 2017, 2018,
2019, and 2020 respectively).

4. The number of initial TIP screenings conducted by the EAA, if any (for
2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

5.  The number of referrals or recommendations for TIP screening made by
the EAA to other departments and bureaux of the Working Group, if any (for
2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Yeung

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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References

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2. https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...
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Security Bureau

1 Attachment

Dear Charlie,
The Guideline on Inter-departmental Cooperation for the Handling of
Suspected Cases of Trafficking in Persons is attached for your reference.

The establishment and staff cost of the TIP designated desk of the
Prosecutions Division at the Department of Justice is tabulated as follows
-

Financial Rank Number of Salary Costs ^Note
Year Posts ($m)
2017-18 Deputy Principal Government Counsel 1 4.00
Government Counsel 2
2018-19 Deputy Principal Government Counsel 1 4.07
Government Counsel 2
2019-20 Deputy Principal Government Counsel 1 6.71
Senior Government Counsel 1
Government Counsel 3

Note : NAMS means notional annual mid-point salary of the respective
financial year.  The officers providing support to TIP-related tasks have
to undertake other duties.  Their staff costs and other related expenses
involved cannot be separately identified.
On 16 December 2019, the Labour Department (LD) introduced an initial
victim screening mechanism in its ten Labour Relations Division branch
offices to identify at an early stage foreign domestic helpers and other
vulnerable persons who might potentially be more prone to being exploited
or abused, and to refer those possibly facing greater dangers (e.g. being
physically abused) to law enforcement agencies for conducting full
debriefing and follow-up investigations as early as possible.  Since the
implementation of the initial victim screening mechanism on 16 December
2019 up to end-March 2020, total of 467 initial screenings were
conducted.
It has also been an established practice of the Employment Agencies
Administration (EAA) to make referral of suspected TIP cases to LEAs once
such cases are detected in the course of our investigation into the
malpractices and irregularities of employment agencies in enforcing Part
XII of the Employment Ordinance (Cap 57), the Employment Agency
Regulations (Cap 57A) and the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies.  
The following are the number of referrals involving TIP matters made by
EAA to LEAs on yearly basis -.

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
(January to March)
Number of referrals by EAA to LEAs 3 16 36 2

From time to time, LD would arrange their officers (including officers of
the EAA) to receive local and overseas TIP-related training where
appropriate.  Details of the training activities in which officers of EAA
have participated since 2017 and up to end-March 2020 are provided in the
following table.

Year TIP Training
2017 Local Training

* Training workshop on TIP and forced labour covering
prevention, victim identification and protection, and
investigation and interview techniques delivered by experts of
the European Union (EU).  
* Training workshop covering trend of human trafficking, TIP
related legislation and case law, victim identification,
investigation and interview techniques delivered by Liberty
Asia.
* Sharing session on TIP delivered by Liberty Asia.

Overseas Training

* Training course on decent work for domestic workers organized
by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Italy.
2018 Local Training
* Training workshop on victim identification delivered by the
International Organisation Migration.
Overseas Training

* Training course on establishing fair recruitment processes
organized by ILO in Italy.
2019 Local Training
* Training workshop covering the collaboration between Government
and NGOs/private sectors, the use of technology, mobile
communications and social media in combatting TIP delivered by
EU experts.
Q1 2020 * NIL

Apart from the above specialised training activities, newly recruited EAA
officers also received training through on-the-job training provided by
EAA and LD’s yearly induction programmes for officers joining LD in which
TIP concepts and knowledge are covered.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Lam
(for Secretary for Security)
Tel: 2810 2327

From:        SB-AIOREQ/SB/HKSARG
To:        Charlie Yeung <[FOI #469 email]>,
Date:        06/05/2020 16:45
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Actions taken by the
Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group to combat cases of
trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic Helpers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Charlie,

Your application for Access to Information has been received.  The
application is now under processing.  We will get back to you as soon as
possible.

Yours Sincerely,

Oliver Lam
(for Secretary for Security)
Tel: 2810 2327

From:        Charlie Yeung <[FOI #469 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Security Bureau <[Security Bureau request email]>,
Date:        27/04/2020 15:39
Subject:        Freedom of Information request - Actions taken by the
Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group to combat cases of
trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic Helpers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Security Bureau,

With particular reference to the information herein
([1]https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/special/bound/...), I seek the
following information in respect of the actions taken by the
Trafficking-in-Persons Working Group (“Working Group”) to combat cases
regarding trafficking-in-persons and exploitation of Foreign Domestic
Helpers:-

1. A copy of the Guideline on Inter-departmental Cooperation for the
Handling of Suspected Cases of Trafficking in Persons issued by the
Security Bureau in 2016, or where this information cannot be provided, an
explanation of:
(i) the procedures taken by the respective departments and bureaux of the
Working Group to actively facilitate identification of vulnerable persons
for screening under the TIP victim screening mechanism;
(ii) the steps that vulnerable persons (or assisting civil society
organizations) are required to take in order put forward such persons as
potential TIP victims to the authorities; and
(iii) information on the “established mechanisms for the
inter-departmental co-operation”.

2. The budget and number of staff (including the job titles of such staff)
for the desk within the Prosecutions Division at the Department of Justice
which was designated in April 2017 to oversee and coordinate TIP-related
matters handled or submitted by law enforcement agencies for legal advice
(for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

3. Clarification on the content and frequency of TIP training received by
the Employment Agencies Administration (“EAA”), if any (for 2017, 2018,
2019, and 2020 respectively).

4. The number of initial TIP screenings conducted by the EAA, if any (for
2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

5.  The number of referrals or recommendations for TIP screening made by
the EAA to other departments and bureaux of the Working Group, if any (for
2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively).

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Yeung

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a request under the Code of Access to Information facilitated via
the accessinfo.hk website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #469 email]

Is [Security Bureau request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information requests
to Security Bureau? If so, please contact us using this form:
[2]https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[3]https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/special/bound/...
2. https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...
3. https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers