Back home

Justice Centre Visits Year 13

Posted: November 24, 2023

The Justice Centre is a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong that is dedicated to upholding justice and protecting human rights. Their mission is to help refugees, asylum seekers, and other forced migrants access protection and basic services in Hong Kong SAR. In addition to providing legal assistance, the Justice Centre offers comprehensive support to their clients. They provide services to improve clients’ mental health and well-being, as well as leadership programs to empower refugees to become leaders. The organisation also supports refugee leaders in delivering community-responsive projects and fostering social cohesion through empowerment initiatives.

The representative Katherine Sy-Siong had come to our school to inform Y13s about the organisation itself, what they do, likewise her journey towards working with JC. This visit was enlightening on the hardships faced by immigrants trying to settle down in a safe country. Katherine explained that we can all help by sharing this information, informing and staying informed, and getting involved. The CAS captains had all thought that this session was influential towards our progress with CAS, career opportunities, and creating change in our community.

Rea: I reached out to the Justice Centre, having worked with them for fundraisers at DC previously, and managed to help organise Katherine’s talk with my year. Despite knowing about the Justice Centre and its work, Katherine’s passion was moving, and shone a light on the care the Justice Centre gives to each of its clients. Unlike reading off of their website, this in-person experience allowed for myself (and other students) to ask questions and learn more about involvement activities targeted towards people my age. Overall, I felt it was very informative, but above that, it was eye-opening to the struggles refugees go through, and how major, worldwide issues can be tackled on a smaller scale and the effects work by the Justice Centre can have on people’s lives. 

Nick: From a DC perspective, Katherine exceeded our expectations. Her presentation was insightful, and encouraged all students to grow as aspiring lawyers, workers, and CAS pupils. As a CAS captain, the presentation helped me and my peers understand that action, in the grand scheme of things, is the key to making change. Through her use of shocking statistics, and moving anecdotes, I believe much of the crowd was swayed by her speech. Katherine took the time to illustrate the issue in depth, prior to providing CAS opportunities. I believe this was an excellent move, as educating the crowd on the issue is pivotal, because only then can they understand the true magnitude of the problem. In future, I will incorporate what I’ve learned, and will be making sure to first educate the crowd on the issue, before asking for financial, or participative assistance. 

Ethan: The justice centre offered a unique experience that helped us see this side of charities, the ability to have someone who can offer people actual experience in law made it, so people would still pay attention to the presentation despite not really needing CAS experience as much. I think it would have been good to also have this presented to the younger years to allow them to have this experience as CAS.

Through a quick quiz and Q&A session at the end, the Y13s were able to engage with the main takeaways of the presentation by Katherine. From acronyms relating to the immigration process in Hong Kong, to the depths of the legal processes that refugees fleeing to Hong Kong must go through, the presentation was informative and engaging; heart strings were pulled as Katherine recounted anecdotes and shocking statistics, such as that less than 1% of asylum claims are successful first time around. The message Justice Centre delivered to Y13s, and to everyone they work with, is clear: to make sure no one walks alone on the path to protection, justice and a decent life.

At DC, the charity fashion show Verity is partnering with the Justice Centre and all ticket sales go towards the charity and its various causes. Additionally, if you’re interested in helping out and creating positive change look out for the Youth Advocate Summer Camp. JC provides intensive training towards high school students who can acquire first-hand experience in legal training/setting. You would be able to shadow industry experts and receive one-to-one training. If summer is too extensive to your liking, they also offer Mock Trial Experiences which focus on interactive asylum law training with trial/courtroom simulations. All of this can increase your experiences as well as develop your future career. Watch out for their Colour of Humanity Arts Prize 2023 at the Goethe Institute in Wan Chai from Dec 1 – Jan 14. Artworks from various schools and immigrants are presented. 

Next time you’re stuck for service, check out JC.