Human trafficking in Hong Kong: hidden in plain sight


Hong Kong has had a lengthy – and mostly honorable – involvement with human trafficking issues. The Letters Patent and Royal Instructions, the British charter that created the original Hong Kong government in 1843, specified that Chinese customary practices were to be protected in the new colony wherever possible with the stated exception of slavery and torture.

Human trafficking was commonplace from the mid-19th century onwards. The regional epicentre for this trade, which extended from Southeast Asia to Peru, was Macau. Smaller and more vulnerable to influence from its massive neighbour than Hong Kong, and burdened – much like today – with a weak administration and a more corrupt legal system, Macau saw many thousands of poverty-stricken Chinese trapped, tricked and exported into conditions of virtual slavery.

From Post Magazine

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Human trafficking in Hong Kong: hidden in plain sight