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Human Trafficking: Prosecutions

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Dear Department of Justice,

In the March 2018, 'Action Plan to Tackle Trafficking in Persons and to Enhance
Protection of Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong', (the 'Action Plan') as at p.7, it states as follows:-

"Conducts of TIP are prohibited by various pieces of legislation in Hong
Kong, such as physical abuse, false imprisonment, criminal intimidation,
unlawful custody of personal valuables, child abduction, child
pornography and exploitation of children, illegal employment, and
various sexual or prostitution related offences, etc. Some of these
offences attract penalties of up to life imprisonment. The present
legislative framework has served Hong Kong well."

1. For the period from 2014 as until the present date, and as broken down per year, are you able to confirm how many :(a) prosecutions; and (b) convictions, have been secured in relation to individuals who have been involved in human trafficking (i.e. as direct perpetrators) or otherwise associated in the enterprise of human trafficking, as for the above offences; namely:

(a) Physical abuse;
(b) False Imprisonment;
(c) Criminal Intimidation;
(d) Unlawful Custody of Personal Valuables;
(e) Child abduction;
(f) Child pornography and exploitation of children;
(g) Illegal Employment;
(h) Other sexual or prostitution related offences (e.g. rape).

Further to this, the Action Plan also states (as at p. 7-8), as follows:-

" In 2013, a new section on “Human Exploitation Cases” has been
incorporated into the Prosecution Code issued by DoJ to highlight...

the identification of such cases and broad principles on their
handling, having regard to applicable international standards and
practices. A new chapter on “Human Exploitation” is further added
to the Prosecution Manual 2017 for the purpose of providing
guidance to prosecutors on TIP issues. "

The Prosecution Code at para. 18.2 then states as follows:

"18.2 Human exploitation includes activities that demean the value of human life such as sexual exploitation, enforced labour, domestic servitude, debt bondage and organ harvesting. Human exploitation is a domestic and international concern which should be handled by prosecutors with an appropriate level of understanding, skill and sensitivity. In appropriate cases, a prosecutor should consider a credible claim that a defendant or intended defendant is a victim of trafficking. If such a claim is found, a prosecutor should appropriately deal with the case bearing in mind that the person is a victim of trafficking. In this regard, reference can be made to applicable international standards and practices concerning victims of trafficking."

2. For the same time period as 1 (above; 2014-present day), can you please provide data in respect of the following:

(a) No. of individuals which a prosecutor/s have/has identified as having a "credible claim that a defendant or intended defendant is a victim of trafficking";
(b) No. of potential prosecutions which have been discontinued/ceased in light of an identification as such (i.e. as at (a)); and
(c) No. of individuals for whom the prosecutor has sought/recommended the reduction in sentence (or otherwise less punitive sanction) for individuals in light of (a);
(d) No. of instances in which in light of an identification (as at (a)), the prosecutor/s have sought prosecution/additional prosecution for the experiences of human trafficking of a defendant/witness.

Thanks very much for your assistance with these matters.

Yours faithfully,

Isaac Shaffer

Thank you very much for the message. The content has been noted. We shall
reply to you, where appropriate, as soon as possible. (The above is
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多謝閣下的電子郵件,內容備悉。如有需要,我們會盡快作出回覆。(以上為電腦自動
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Dear Sir/Madam,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 2 October 2019. We will
give you a reply as soon as possible.

Maria WONG
for Director of Public Prosecutions

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DoJ Information, 律政司

[Subject only] Fw: Freedom of Information request - Human Trafficking: Prosecutions (Resend)

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Dear DoJ Information,

Many thanks for your reply.

Please urgently pass on my request to the Security Bureau and any other relevant Department.

Yours sincerely,

Isaac Shaffer

Thank you very much for the message. The content has been noted. We shall
reply to you, where appropriate, as soon as possible. (The above is
generated by an auto-reply programme to acknowledge receipt of your
message.)

多謝閣下的電子郵件,內容備悉。如有需要,我們會盡快作出回覆。(以上為電腦自動
發出的回覆信息。)

Dear Mr Shaffer,

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)

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Dear Mr Shaffer,

I refer to your application for access to information submitted to
Department of Justice on 2 October 2019 on prosecution and conviction
figures related to human trafficking cases.  The request was subsequently
referred to the Security Bureau on 18 October 2019 for follow-up action.
 Having consulted relevant departments, the requested information is
provided in the ensuing paragraphs.
2.        The HKSAR Government began to gradually implement a TIP victim
screening mechanism in relevant departments by phase since 2015.  By July
2018, it has been fully implemented in the Immigration Department, Customs
and Excise Department and Police.  We will further extend the mechanism to
Labour Department later this year.  Since then, 4 persons were prosecuted
in relation to crimes committed against victims identified under such
mechanism.  One of them was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment for aiding
and abetting other persons in taking up unapproved employment, and legal
proceedings on the remaining three are still ongoing.  Separately, between
2015 and end June 2019, 3 other persons were prosecuted under section 129
of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap 200) for trafficking in persons to or from
Hong Kong for the purpose of prostitution.  According to available
information, 1 of them was convicted and sentenced to immediate
imprisonment of 1 year and 4 months.

3.        As regards your question 2, the Department of Justice advised
that they do not maintain the requested statistics.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Lam
(for Secretary for Security)

From:        SB-AIOREQ/SB/HKSARG
To:        Isaac Shaffer <[FOI #418 email]>,
Date:        24/10/2019 13:04
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Human Trafficking:
Prosecutions

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Dear Mr Shaffer,

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)

show quoted sections

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