13 May 2023
This week, our co-founder and Chief Executive Benedict Rogers and our Research and Policy Advisor Anouk Wear are in Geneva to advocate for women’s rights and civil and political rights in Hong Kong at the United Nations. They have also met with many Member States to discuss the situation in Hong Kong and what they can do to support Hongkongers at the UN-Level.
Today, Anouk Wear gave the UN Committee on Women’s Rights a statement in preparation for China’s review under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which will take place on 12 May.
She made a statement on behalf of Hong Kong Watch, Freiheit fur Hongkong e.V., Honkongers in Deutschland e.V., and the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation:
Since the National Security Law was passed in 2020, rights and freedoms of all people across Hong Kong have been systematically eroded, including women’s rights. The National Security Law’s vague and arbitrary application has violated many women’s rights without accountability. Notably, in March, the annual Women’s March was cancelled on National Security grounds, clearly demonstrating that the National Security Law is extended to undermine women’s rights.
In addition, women human rights defenders from Hong Kong face many additional barriers and repercussions due to their gender. This includes the gender-based and sexual violence that women faced during the 2019 protests, which has yet to be independently investigated, in addition to harassment and targeted attacks against individuals.
She added that Hong Kong maintains the highest proportion of women prisoners in the world. Women have received questionable convictions and are silenced. Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration which was ratified by the United Nations in 1985 have been destroyed by China.
We urge the Committee to demand that China repeal the National Security Law and respect the Basic Law, and investigate and seek accountability for violations of women’s rights obligations under CEDAW.
Anouk Wear, Research and Policy Advisor at Hong Kong Watch stated that “Human rights are indivisible and interdependent on one another, including women’s rights which are inseparable from other human rights.
As the situation in Hong Kong deteriorates, women’s rights are rapidly deteriorating by the Hong Kong government itself, without adequate safeguards or accountability. We hope that the UN Committee can critically analyse the violations of international law and provide constructive recommendations to support the rights and freedoms of the women of Hong Kong.” #