The research team will publish research briefs, academic articles, and media pieces, and integrate them into advocacy and educational activities.

Upcoming events

(Spring 2023)

We are holding two event series this Spring, which will cover:

Designing Impactful Research under the RGC Research Impact FundFeb 2TBC
How to Obtain Official Data under the Code of Access to InformationFeb 14Feb 9
Research with Vulnerable Groups in PracticeMar 2Mar 13

The two series are held in collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Lab at the CUHK Library and the Society for Hong Kong Studies.

For details and how to sign up:

Media publications

South China Morning Post
Dec 20, 2022

Hong Kong should rethink rules that threaten to make immigration detention feel like jail

The proposed changes include allowing intimate body searches, raising maximum solitary confinement to 28 days and a new detention centre managed by the prisons authority. This is a disturbing move towards making an already opaque, non-judicial system punitive, especially when many have been victims of trafficking or persecution. Read more

Ming Pao
Oct 7, 2022


過去數月,香港媒體報道港人被販賣到東南亞的新聞引起廣泛關注。其實不單有港人會被販賣到外地,外地移民亦常有被販賣到香港。人口販賣受害者處於極脆弱的狀况,他們不單面對剝削及虐待的風險,更會因違反入境規定而遭入境羈留及遣返。 Read more (Chi only)

South China Morning Post
Oct 1, 2022

Hong Kong’s human trafficking victims need to be supported, not detained

Reports in the past month of Hong Kong residents trafficked to Southeast Asia have shocked the public. In turn, NGOs have highlighted that many migrants are trafficked into Hong Kong. Such trafficking hides in plain sight, at least in part because of serious gaps in anti-trafficking policy. Read more

In collaboration with Kontinentalist

Aug 4, 2022

Stuck in the system: Immigration detention in Hong Kong

Created in collaboration with Kontinentalist, a data storytelling team, this visual story is an introduction to the topic of immigration detention in Hong Kong. The interactive story is designed with the general reader in mind, and features the research and data collected in the past two years paired with compelling data visualizations and illustrations. Read more

South China Morning Post
Jun 13, 2022

Data on asylum seekers detained in Hong Kong should be disclosed more proactively, legal expert says

Research efforts show that public information on immigration detainees was harder to find than data for prisoners. Read more

Hong Kong Free Press
Jun 13, 2022

Hong Kong gov’t should ‘proactively disclose’ info on immigration detainees, legal scholar says

Basic information about immigration detention should be in the public domain. This would foster research and analysis that can lead to improvements. It would also foster public discussion and scrutiny, which is of course, another accountability mechanism for good governance. Read more

Ming Pao
Feb 18, 2022

突如其來的檢疫隔離 無法預期的入境羈留

將檢疫隔離類比為羈留並不令人訝異,特別是入境羈留,因為兩者皆不是因為犯罪,而是以公共利益而被禁閉。不過「隔離」與「羈留」在待遇、設施以至禁閉期等方面,可謂有天壤之別,因此不能相提並論。 Read more (Chi only)

The Diplomat
Dec 30, 2021

Bio-tracked, Mistreated, Hog-tied: Immigration Detention in East Asia in 2021

A review of immigration detention in Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea in 2021 shows that the disturbing mix of opaque and easily-imposed detention, detainee vulnerability, and public apathy can have serious, and sometimes fatal, consequences. Read more

South China Morning Post
May 16, 2021

Hong Kong immigration bill: baseless rhetoric on refugees only hurts the most vulnerable

Particularly since 2016, refugees have been scapegoated and detained to suit the political platforms of certain lawmakers. Rhetoric that has no basis in data translates into very real consequences for vulnerable migrants. Read more; See our sources

Border Criminologies (University of Oxford)
April 26, 2021

Overused, Underexamined? Immigration Detention in Hong Kong

Our early findings indicate that many immigration detainees in Hong Kong are low-income migrant workers and non-refoulement claimants. The legal framework is designed in ways that renders these groups more susceptible to detention. Read more

The Diplomat
Feb 18, 2021

Hostile Harbor: Proposed Legal Reform Bodes Ill for Vulnerable Migrants in Hong Kong

If it passes, the Immigration (Amendment) Bill will make an asylum system that is already harsh even less hospitable toward people fleeing persecution in their home countries. Read more

International Detention Coalition
Oct 29, 2020

Covid-19 Impacts on Immigration Detention: Global Responses (p21-23)

In this article, we discuss the Hong Kong S.A.R. government’s COVID-19 response in relation to irregular migrants and asylum seekers. Read more


April 22, 2022 

Data on detention: Using official data in qualitative research

In collaboration with Society for Hong Kong Studies

In this workshop, we discuss the landscape of open government data and challenges in accessing data. We share our efforts in obtaining official data through access-to-information (ATI) requests via the Code on Access to Information, including specific examples of challenges we faced and how we navigated them. More information here.

Workshop training

Oct 13, 2022

Data on detention: Using official data in qualitative research, in collaboration with The Hong Kong Council of Social Service

May 26, 2022

Data on detention: Using official data in qualitative research, in collaboration with The Hong Kong Council of Social Service

Mar 18, 2022

Interpreters’ training, in collaboration with Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEER)

Nov 6-7, 2021

Interpreters’ training, in collaboration with Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEER)


Mar 15, 2022

Global citizenship

Guest lecture at The Education University of Hong Kong

The 1-hour seminar was conducted as a guest lecture for the class Citizenship Education: Implications for Global and HK Studies. The talk discussed citizenship as a process of inclusion and exclusion, the non-citizen, and citizenship in relation to migration and immigration detention in the context of Hong Kong.

Feb 22, 2022

Know Your Rights


This seminar focuses on Know Your Rights information for migrant domestic workers, with Tagalog interpretation.

Feb 3, 2022

Know Your Rights

(Indonesian Bahasa)

In collaboration with Centre for Migrant Domestic Workers at Christian Action

This seminar focuses on Know Your Rights information for migrant domestic workers, with Indonesian Bahasa interpretation. Watch here

March 31, 2021

Refugee Protection in Hong Kong Today

In collaboration with The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library

Recording of the webinar

The talk was co-hosted with The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library as part of a series of events organized by the exhibition Nàng Tự Do, an exhibition of artwork produced in the detention camps during the arrivals of the Vietnamese refugees. More information here.


June 24-5, 2022

Immigration detention in Hong Kong: Advocacy in the dark, presented at Hong Kong Studies as Praxis (Society for Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference 2022)

Feb 4-6, 2022

Visualising the law: Immigration detention in Hong Kong, presented at Outlier Conference 2022 (Data Visualization Society)

Sept 16-18, 2021

A Hub that can never be a Home: Low-income Migrants and Crimmigration in Hong Kong, presented at Global Borderlands: Getting to the Core of Crimmigration