What Are We Abandoning: Scavengers or Trash is a project that aims to resolve the conflict between scavengers and hawker control officers in Hong Kong.
Scavengers who collect and resell waste as a living are generally uninformed of their legal responsibilities. Even if they do, there is a lack of enabling environment that allows them to legally collect waste. On the other hand, inconsistency could be found in the frontline staff’s law enforcement actions – i.e. possible abuse of law enforcement power by the hawker control offers. This evolves into a situation which results in scavengers coming into conflicts with the law and the lack of policy coherence further magnifies the impact of their legal troubles.
The components of the project includes:
- Civic Education To increase awareness and knowledge regarding rights entitled and responsibilities assumed for scavengers, storeowners and general public through distribution of pamphlets and a teaching session
- Facilitate Access to Legal Aid Services To increase access to legal aid services by: i) reaching out to pro bono lawyers who are interested in scavenging issues; ii) recruiting District Councilors who have the capacity and are willing to help establishing connections between scavengers and pro bono lawyers; iii) informing scavengers of such networks
- Advocacy in the Legislative Council To address issues of potential abuse of power by FEHD hawker control officers through advocacy in the Legislative Council
Ip Yun Yi, Angela, The University of Hong Kong
Wai Lok Yan, Venisa, The University of Hong Kong