About the Project

ASsist- Empowerment through Exchange aims at resolving the onerousness of the Unified Screening Mechanism (USM) by providing information sessions for new asylum seekers and compiling a database for duty lawyers. It strives to streamline the USM process for the stakeholders and to enhance public awareness about the plight of asylum seekers.



  1. To improve asylum seekers’ knowledge about the USM process, ascertained by participants attaining 80% correct in a short refection quiz postworkshop;
  2. To strengthen duty lawyers’ confdence and ability in substantiating USM claims by 20%, ascertained through a pre- and post- workshop quantitative survey; and
  3. To enhance the Hong Kong general public’s awareness about the plight of asylum seekers in Hong Kong by reaching 1000 people within 12 months at our workshops determined by actual attendance.


Team members:

  • Bin Azhar Abdullah, The University of Hong Kong
  • Chan Jing Lin Stephanie, The University of Hong Kong
  • Leung Hoi Yan Holly, The University of Hong Kong
  • Mak Lai Hang, The University of Hong Kong



Since July 2020, ASsist- Empowerment through Exchange (“ASsist”) has made substantial
progress in terms of its one-stop site, Information Sessions, and the Country Connect
programme. Through joining Student Experiential Learning Community Service Task Force
(“SELECT”) at the University of Hong Kong (“HKU”), ASsist has also conducted promotion to
students at HKU, recruited new student volunteers, and engaged with other student groups
in HKU, including previous winners of the PILnet Law for Change Competition.

  1. One-Stop Site
    ASsist launched its webpage which targets asylum seekers and refugees (“ASRs”), and contains sections on Hong Kong’s legal system, non-refoulement claims, social welfare, healthcare, mental health, police powers, and Cantonese.
  2. Information Sessions
    The Guide on Non-refoulement Claims will serve as the informative basis for the information sessions for asylum-seekers.
  3. Country Connect
    ASsist has been coordinating Branches of Hope and student volunteers in preparation for the Country Connect programme (“CC”) to start in November 2020.
  4. Showcase their project at 2020 PILnet Virtual Global Forum 

To learn more about their projects, you may contact ASsist