GRAVE CONCERN ABOUT HONG KONG COURT JUDGMENT
DEMAND FOR PROTECTION OF SOCIAL WORKERS WHEN PERFORMING HUMANITARIAN DUTIES
The British Association of Social Workers is gravely concerned about the conviction and detention without bail of registered Hong Kong social worker, Lau Ka-tung, who was convicted on 17 June 2020 of impeding a police operation during the protest in Yuen Long on 27 July 2019. He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and was denied bail pending an appeal.
BASW endorses the grave concern of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association (HKSWA) that ‘the court has failed to take into consideration the professional mission of social workers in providing humanitarian support during confrontation, and the reason for refusing bail is inexplicable.’
BASW supports the statement of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association (HKSWA) that ‘protecting the rights of the parties involved is the professionalism and mission of social workers and there is a genuine need to do so. Social workers in Hong Kong act in accordance with the Code of Practice for Registered Social Workers issued by the Social Workers Registration Board and make decisions in a professional and responsible manner under any circumstances while performing their duties.’
BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, and Chair of the International Committee, David N Jones, affirm the call of the HKSWA that ‘solemnly demands government departments, the law enforcement bodies and judiciary to respect the social work profession and to understand that social workers are upholding the ethical principles of safeguarding human rights and ensuring physical safety. At the same time, these bodies should fulfil the obligation and duties as a signing party of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, with full respect to the social work profession and take action to reasonably protect the basic personal safety and rights of all parties involved.’