Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal (2017-07-01)

Human Rights Development in the First 20 Years of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  • Chong Yiu Kwong

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 2
pp. 575 – 616


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Have human rights been improved since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)? Perspectives will be drawn from comments of the United Nations (UN), public perception, application of UN human rights conventions, enactment of human rights laws and landmark judgments by the Court of Final Appeal (CFA). Major human rights improvements were achieved before the 1997 handover whereas little progress has been made thereafter. Human rights deterioration after 1997 was signified by the first interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) in June 1999. Anti-national security law movement in 2003 and the Umbrella Movement in 2014 substantially changed the political landscape as well as the human rights environment. The Central People’s Government (CPG) has been tightening control on HKSAR’s autonomy, resulting in lowering the degree of autonomy and less protection of human rights.