The Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre (“HKRAC”) is the only dedicated provider of pro bono legal aid to refugees seeking protection at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) in Hong Kong.
The HKRAC strives to ensure that all refugees in Hong Kong have access to high-quality legal aid, fair refugee status determination procedures, and human rights so that they can begin to rebuild their lives.
Their Mission: To provide high-quality, pro bono legal advice to refugees in Hong Kong, protect their rights, and generate awareness.
- To put the interests of refugees first, and at the core of all our endeavours.
- To maintain professional and ethical excellence.
- To be fearless, competent, collaborative and diligent in representing the interests of refugees.
- To raise awareness about refugee rights and promote a pro bono and volunteer culture within the Hong Kong Community.
Volunteering: HKRAC provides free legal advice and representation to asylum-seekers who seek refugee status with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) in Hong Kong. HKRAC also generates awareness regarding refugee rights and advocate for the protection and promotion of those rights.
In order to carry out their mission, they recruit, train, and supervise skilled volunteers to assist their organization’s work. There are many areas that you can get involved in to make the most of your experience and expertise. These include:
- Development & Fundraising
- Events Planning
- Press & Publicity
- Information Technology (IT)
Casework Volunteers are responsible for fielding HKRAC’s drop-in intake sessions, which are held every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2-5pm. Intake sessions involve registering new asylum seekers, conducting intake questionnaires, providing general information regarding the UNHCR’s refugee status determination process and making referrals on behalf of asylum seekers.
Casework Volunteers are also responsible for conducting research on the asylum seeker’s country of origin and follow-up intakes to determine whether an asylum seeker meets the refugee definition and should be prioritized for HKRAC representation.
Casework Volunteers may provide full representation to clients. Full representation involves interviewing clients, conducting research, preparing a testimony and legal submission and attending UNHCR interviews.
Casework Volunteers must be able to commit for 5-10 hours a week for a minimum of 6 months and should have some weekday daytime availability. Preference will be given to those with a legal background and/or experience working with refugees or other vulnerable clients.
Attending an HKRAC training weekend is compulsory for volunteers interested in doing casework. Training weekends are held three times a year in January, May/June, and September.
Interpretation and Translation
Interpretation is critical to the work of their organization. HKRAC have represented speakers of 37 different languages. Finding skilled and available interpreters on a case-by-case basis will always remain a challenge. HKRAC organizes regular community interpretation training sessions for providing interpretation services for refugee legal aid. Thanks to successful fundraising HKRAC is able to pay interpreters a modest hourly rate. However, HKRAC also welcomes volunteers who are willing to contribute their time to interpretation and translation on a pro bono basis.
Development & Fundraising
Development & Fundraising Volunteers work closely with the Executive Director and Development Officer on all HKRAC development-related activities. These include fundraising strategies, capacity building, strategic development, donor relations, event planning and networking.
Press & Publicity Committee
Press & Publicity Volunteers will develop and promote the organization’s brand. This will include creating promotional materials and fact sheets, building up press contacts and creating press packets, and raising awareness about the rights and needs of refugees.
Information Technology (IT)
IT Volunteers will help HKRAC leverage its technology. They will also assist the organization in network and website development and maintenance.
For further information please visit their website.