Hong Kong educators urge awareness campaign for proposed child abuse reporting system

Insert picture: Nancy Lam Chui-ling

20th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Educators in Hong Kong are calling on authorities to reach out to ethnic minority households and raise awareness of a proposed reporting system aimed at combating child abuse. The Federation of Education Workers made the appeal in response to the government’s plan to implement the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Bill by the end of next year. The legislation will require professionals who work with children, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers, to report any suspected cases of abuse. Failure to report can result in imprisonment and fines. However, many families, particularly from ethnic minorities, are unaware of the policy change.

Nancy Lam Chui-ling, vice-chairwoman of the Federation, called on authorities to organize seminars and workshops specifically tailored to ethnic minority families. She emphasised the need for the government to gradually instil the concept of child abuse prevention among families in the city. Lam suggested that the authorities provide information in native languages and consider the specific needs of these communities.

Government statistics from 2021 indicate that 8% of Hong Kong’s population, around 619,568 people, belong to ethnic minority backgrounds. Among these figures, 60,095 individuals were under the age of 15.