Justice Centre Hong Kong
kindly invites you to
A Lunchtime Discussion
with Professor Yiombi Thona
Renowned Refugee Advocate in South Korea
Deputy Chair of the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network
Monday, 22 August 2016, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
What role do East Asian Countries have to play in the Global Refugee Crisis?: Comparing the protection systems in South Korea and Hong Kong
hosted at Davis Polk & Wardwell
The Hong Kong Club Building
3A Chater Road, 8/F, Hong Kong
As the world is in the midst of an unprecedented global refugee crisis, what role do countries in East Asia have to play in sharing responsibility to address it? East Asia is home to many well-developed countries with strong rule of law and high levels of donations by their citizens for global internatio
nal humanitarian causes. Yet domestic legal frameworks for protection are relatively new, and acceptance rate and quotas for refugees remain comparatively low.
This talk will give a first-hand account by a refugee on the challenges and journey of seeking protection in South Korea and rebuilding his life there. Professor Thona was forced to flee from the Democratic Republic of Congo and sought asylum in the Republic of Korea. He has gone on to become a well-known refugee rights advocate in South Korea and globally, as well as the Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network. His full biography can be found here.
In 2012, the South Korean Parliament passed Law No. 11298 of 2012, The Act on the Status and Treatment of Refugees, and recently piloted a refugee resettlement programme. In Hong Kong, a ground-breaking Court of Final Appeal judgment in 2013 resulted in the introduction of a Unified Screening Mechanism to process non-refoulement claims for protection from persecution, torture and grave human rights abuses.
Professor Thona will be joined by Justice Centre’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Victoria Wisniewski Otero. It will explore these two new systems, discuss challenges and opportunities in each and offer insights into how East Asian countries can take meaningful steps forward to share responsibility for assisting refugees as members of the international community and be tolerant and welcoming places for those seeking asylum. The talk will be followed by a Q+A.
Spaces are limited. Please RSVP by August 17 to Brenda Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org