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A social worker holds the hand of a refugee in the Bicske Integration Center, near Budapest, Hungary on 19 July 2010. © UNHCR/Béla Szandelszky

Non-refoulment protection

With the commencement of the Unified Screening Mechanism (“USM”), Sub-office Hong Kong (“SOHK”) has transitioned into an advisory and capacity building role. Such changes in responsibilities align SOHK closer to the roles its international counterparts have within UNHCR’s global operations and it is an immense development for UNHCR in achieving its mandated goals and duties.

The Protection Unit will continue to liaise with the Hong Kong SAR government on refugee issues, which includes the humanitarian assistance that the government provides to refugees, and offer training to lawyers and immigration officers working with non-refoulement claimants. SOHK will also continue its work under UNHCR’s mandate on durable solutions, including resettlement to a third country, for all recognized refugees whose non-refoulement claims are substantiated under the USM.

If you are seeking protection because you cannot return to your country of origin due to a well-founded fear of persecution, please click the link below which will provide basic information on how to apply for non-refoulement protection in Hong Kong.

For further information on the USM, please refer to: Unified Screening Procedures

For more information on the changes please refer to the corresponding FAQ section by clicking here.

Useful Links

Please also refer to the Immigration Department of Hong Kong SAR.

For more information on the Duty Lawyer Service, please see:

Capacity Building

Strengthening capacity, a core activity in the area of protection, seeks to help states meet their international legal obligations to protect refugees. SOHK liaises with the Hong Kong government on refugee issues. It provides training for officials working with refugees and advises authorities on international standards in respect to legislation, policy and procedures.

Capacity building activities are geared towards strengthening national authorities, laws and policies to ensure the proper handling of refugee issues, the care of refugees, the promotion of self-reliance of refugees and the realization of durable solutions. But the task cannot be accomplished alone. It requires a partnership framework involving host governments, humanitarian assistance and developmental agencies, civil society, including NGOs, together with refugees themselves.



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.