Protesters in Hong Kong demand better system for asylum seekers

Reuters
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Keana plays on a roof in Hong Kong.

Her mother, Vanessa, from the Philippines, is an asylum-seeker and torture claimant in the semi-autonomous region.

Vanessa's boyfriend, Sukum, an asylum-seeker and torture claimant from Sri Lanka, lives with them in a small rundown flat, as do another woman and infant.

Sukum says life is difficult because they cannot work. If caught working illegally, he faces 14 months in jail.

Keana's family's plight is shared by many. Around 500 asylum-seekers, torture claimants and supporters demanded more protection in Hong Kong, Saturday.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) ORGANISER AND VISION FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COSMO BEATEN, SAYING:

"It's been 21 years with only four protections in Hong Kong out of more than 12,000 cases. So obviously this is a case of social justice. And people are just demanding that, protection."

The recognition rate of .02 percent lags far behind other liberal democracies, which range from 25-40 per cent,

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