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Human Rights Protection


Human rights are rights that belong to individuals because they are human beings. They embody essential values in society which include equality, respect, dignity, and fairness. Human rights provide a framework for protection against human abuse and thus safeguard human beings from isolation, neglect, and abuse. Essentially, human rights provide power and enable people to speak as well challenge poor treatment from a public authority. All human rights are relevant. However, some are most relevant. Human rights that are most relevant to human beings include the right to life, right to liberty, right not to be discriminated against based on color or race, prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. All human rights are essential, and therefore, a need for a mechanism to protect human rights. According to the UN, HRC has two human mechanisms, including complaint procedure and the universal periodic review. It calls for a need to assess the effectiveness of mechanisms to protect human rights in Hong Kong. Having an effective and efficient mechanism is essential for the country. It ensures that all human rights are protected, and individuals live in harmony. As a result, ensuring a safe country is essential for Hong Kong.

The mechanism for human right protection in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has established mechanisms to protect human rights, such as the Equal Opportunities Commission, Privacy commissioner, and Ombudsman, among others ((Sekalala, Masud & Bosco, 2020). Equal opportunity commissioner (EOC) is a statutory established in 1996 in Hong Kong. It is responsible for implementing race discrimination ordinance, disability discrimination ordinance, family status discrimination ordinance, and sex discrimination ordinance in Hong Kong (He & Ma, 2021). The function of EOC is to protect individuals from discrimination based on family status, pregnancy, marital status, sex, race, disability, and breastfeeding. Additionally, EOC’s purpose of protect individuals from sexual harassment, vilification, and breastfeeding harassment based on race or disability (Huang et al., 2018). Therefore, the mechanism aims to promote equal opportunities between individuals with a disability and without, women and men. The mechanism helps in protecting human rights against discrimination.

The office of the privacy commissioner for personal data (PCPD) was formed in 1996, and it aims at enforcing the personal data ordinance. The body aims at protecting the privacy of individuals. The body aim at protecting data related to information concerning a living being and can be used to identify the individual (Dinh & Calabro, 2019). Additionally, the mechanism protects data that is accessible or can be processed practically.

Furthermore, the ombudsman’s office is statutory in Hong Kong, which acts as a mechanism for ensuring fair and efficient public administration committed to quality, openness, and accountable services. The Ombudsman office mainly operated by investigating as well as giving recommendations to departments in government (Sekalala, Masud & Bosco, 2020). Therefore, it investigates complaints against public administration. The mechanism adopts various approaches to handle complaints, and therefore the efficiency of the mechanism is essential (Holmes et al., 2020). Effective approaches lead to a proper investigation and, as a result, assist in serving justice. It ensures that human rights are protected, and they have the right to live. Having effective investigation leads to a reasonable investigation, and it assists in ensuring justice to complain and thus ensure people do what is right and they live in harmony with each other.

Effectiveness of mechanism of protecting human rights

Even though Hong Kong has established a mechanism for protecting human rights, they have issues in reflecting the need of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). For instance, the privacy commission and EOC need to be able to enforce notice in investigations. Additionally, EOC is limited because there is no guarantee that legal assistance applications will be allowed. After all, there is a limited budget together with other issues. Statistically, 37.9% has been an increase in complaints and a 75% increase in applications in legal assistance (Deva & Bilchitz, 2017). This has burdened the EOC, and therefore, having a lot of cases can diminish the mechanism’s effectiveness. Therefore, measures need to be taken to ensure the effectiveness of EOC.

Additionally, EOC aims at ensuring equality in education. It purposes to ensure both girls and boys in Hong Kong have attained education. In Hong Kong, the disparity in education among boys and girls has reduced, and therefore, it shows that to some extent, the EOC has been effective (De Stefano & Aloisi, 2019). It has promoted equality in education among girls and boys. This is essential to the country as it leads to equal education opportunities for all and thus the country’s prosperity. In general, the conciliation success rate is around 60%-65%, and around 33% of complaints have not been conciliated for application for legal aid successfully (Kälin & Künzli, 2019). Therefore, it shows that EOC as a mechanism of protecting human rights has been effective to some extent, and measures can be implemented to enhance its effectiveness.

Furthermore, concerning the privacy commission, it is limited because there are no conciliation measures, and it does not provide legal aid or advice. Additionally, the privacy commission does not have the power that brings legal proceedings. Technology has been a significant threat to the mechanism since new tricks have been innovated, and they can lead to the cybercrimes such as phishing in which can be used to cause harm to individuals (Ferri, 2021). They lead to invasion of individual’s privacy. As a result, it makes the mechanism ineffective.

Moreover, Hong Kong has an ineffective complaints mechanism. Ideally, complaints about abusive use of power by police have existed for a long in Hong Kong. Independent mechanisms have been urged to investigate the complaints by different community sectors. However, complaints against police have been criticized as they have been termed to lack credibility. Besides, fairness and independence on the officers working in complaints against police office (CAPO) have been questionable because they come from the same police force. This leads to the closing of cases due to a lack of evidence. Usually, police can’t incriminate a colleague, and therefore, the investigation being done by someone in the police department are not effective.

Furthermore, the number of allegations against police officers has declined. Police officers can explain this due to the improvement in police conduct and behavior (Danila, 2021). On the contrary, it can result from a lack of trust of the general public towards the police officer investigation. Therefore, individuals opt not to report any police misconduct because they understand that nothing will be done to receive justice. This led to increased misconduct and malpractice in the police case. Additionally, the decreasing trend in allegations against a police officer can be explained as a result of an ineffective mechanism for investigation. Human beings have the right to life, and they are not supposed to be discriminated against or treated with fairness and justice. Police officers have a duty of serving and protecting people. They can abuse their power by taking advantage of the people they pledged to protect and serve (Sekalala, Masud & Bosco, 2020). One of the practices in which police officer abuse their power is taking bribes. In Hong Kong, the police force is identified as one of the most corrupt government institutions.

Therefore, a lack of effective mechanisms can lead to a violation of human rights. Taking bribes leads to corruption, and as a result, apart from violating the human right to a fair trial, it can lead to an environment where human rights abuses occur with impunity. For instance, it can degrade human treatment and even torture suspects. Additionally, it can lead to the trial of the wrong people, which is unfair treatment of human beings. People need to be treated with fairness and justice (Dinh & Calabro, 2019). Otherwise, if the mechanism for protecting human rights is not fair, they lead to violation of human rights, and as a result, they maltreat human beings. Therefore, making the mechanisms for the protection of human rights ineffective.


Protecting human rights in Hong Kong is essential. One of the essences of protecting human rights is meeting their basic needs. The leads to ensuring that people have access to basic needs and thus they can live a comfortable life. Additionally, human rights protect individuals from any form of abuse, and this assists in ensuring that any person, regardless of gender or race, is protected from abuse and can live a good life. Protecting human rights ensures that individuals can stand up to societal corruption and their freedom of speech, and as a result, they can express themselves. For human rights to be protected, an effective mechanism needs to be established. The mechanism helps in ensuring that human rights are protected. If the mechanism is effective, it will lead to effective human rights protection, and if they are not, they violate human rights. In Hong Kong, the mechanism of protecting human rights are ineffective.



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Sekalala, S., Masud, H., & Bosco, R. T. (2020). Human rights mechanisms for anti-corruption, transparency and accountability: enabling the right to health. Global health action13(sup1), 1699343.


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