Education as a basic right: The case of Hong Kong’s refugees and asylum seekers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


It has recently been asserted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that “education is a basic right, one that is vital in restoring hope and dignity to people driven from their homes. It helps them to get back on their feet and build a better future” (A Basic Right for a Better Future, UNHCR, 2016, p.1). Asylum seekers, both here in Hong Kong and elsewhere, struggle to be self-sufficient, and it is education that can equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge. Education empowers refugees and is the key to better future that helps bring stability and hope. The study to be reported here asses explores refugee family responsibilities and the Hong Kong SAR Government’s responsibility for educational provision in relation to refugee children in Hong Kong. The preliminary findings indicate that refugee children in Hong Kong encounter many difficulties and problems (such as financial, psychological). Many of them, however, embrace their education opportunities and excel academically with support from teachers and schools. This study highlights issues which refugee children encounter and also provides a narrative in understanding the complicated and extraordinary childhoods of refugee children and youth in Hong Kong. While the study is set in the Hong Kong context, the findings are likely to be of interest of other countries which to improve educational provision for refugees.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
EventThe 12th CitizED International Conference - The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jul 201630 Jul 2016


ConferenceThe 12th CitizED International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Kennedy, K. J., & Wong, K. L. (2016, July). Education as a basic right: The case of Hong Kong’s refugees and asylum seekers. Paper presented at The 12th CitizED International Conference, the University of Birmingham, UK.


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