Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Puja Kapai in the News (SCMP)

R Blundy & C Leung
South China Morning Post
19 November 2016
Lifelong Hongkonger Prem Chandr Tamang was shocked to watch television footage of police firing shots at a Nepali gang attacking another Nepali in Yau Ma Tei on October 2 this year.
     The 44-year-old Nepali company director, whose engineering construction business is based just two blocks away from where the machete attack took place, has also been a victim of Nepali gangs in the last two years.
     On one occasion, they broke into his office, demanded he hand over HK$100,000 and slashed his neck – an injury that left him struggling to eat for 14 months. In a separate terrifying attack in March this year, they cornered him at home, hitting him across the head as he tried to protect his one-year-old son...
     Puja Kapai, director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, said the neglect of Nepalis and Pakistanis needed to be urgently addressed by the government.
     “It is very sad,” she said. “Young men and women are being recruited into these gangs because they are being exploited by the sense of loss within their community. They are being lost to the other side.”.. Click here to read the full article.

Rachel Blundy
South China Morning Post
19 November 2016
A recent ban on cleaning high-rise windows is not sufficient to protect Hong Kong’s domestic workers from exploitation, campaigners argue after a shocking photograph recently emerged of a helper cleaning a window at a 15th-floor apartment in the Mid-Levels.
     The government this week revealed details of a new clause to be added to all domestic helper employment contracts, prohibiting them from cleaning external windows above the ground floor unless the window is fitted with a secure grille.
     The ban, proposed by the Philippines Consulate, was initially delayed for one month to allow Hong Kong lawmakers more time to establish the specific wording of the new clause...
     Puja Kapai, director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, agreed that the ban did not properly address the lack of restrictions on a domestic helper’s duties and working hours. “It is a band-aid approach,” she said... Click here to read the full article.

L Chan & S Cheah
South China Morning Post
19 November 2016
Thapa was only 16 when he first started abusing ‘brown sugar’ - an adulterated form of heroin - in Nepal.
     He came to Hong Kong in 2004 to reunite with family, but pressured by peers and feeling disenfranchised by his experience as a member of an ethnic minority in the city, Thapa turned to heroin. He was only 18.
     “Before, I had no meaning to my life,” he said. Thapa’s story is not unique in the Nepalese community. Drug abuse among ethnic minorities in the city has been on the rise since 2005.
     Statistics show drug use has risen from 1.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent in the Nepalese community, compared to a rise from 0.4 per cent for other South Asians to 2.6 per cent in this year’s first quarter...
     The South Asian population is predominantly Buddhist, Hindu
or Muslim; yet nearly all of the city’s rehab services are Christian-based.
     This means religion is a “first-stage barrier” that ethnic minorities face when seeking treatment, according to Puja Kapai, law professor at Hong Kong University, who has published extensive research on the status of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong... Click here to read the full article.

Rachel Blundy
South China Morning Post
22 November 2016
Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are increasingly developing preventable chronic health problems but face significant barriers to accessing health care, a charity has warned.
      South Asians in particular are facing rising levels of diabetes, obesity and heart conditions, partly because of their traditionally high-fat diets, according to Health in Action.
      The humanitarian organisation will receive almost HK$930,000 from Operation Santa Claus, the annual fundraiser organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, for a new health care programme targeted at ethnic minorities...
     The government has previously been criticised for failing to support ethnic minorities seeking health care.
      Writing in her 2015 research paper Status of Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong 1997-2014, Puja Kapai, director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Kong Kong, said the “language barrier” was the primary hurdle faced by ethnic minorities.
      “Whilst the population of ethnic minorities continues to grow in Hong Kong, the government has paid insufficient attention to the problems faced by ethnic minorities in terms of equal accessibility to health care services,” she wrote... Click here to read the full article.

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