The unified screening mechanism (USM) commenced its operation on 3 March 2014 for determining claims for non-refoulement protection against expulsion, return or surrender from Hong Kong to another country on all applicable grounds as set out in the “Notice to Persons Making a Non-refoulement Claim” (“Notice”).
For persons subject or liable to removal or deportation (or whose surrender is requested in surrender proceedings) from Hong Kong who claim for non-refoulement protection on any applicable grounds as set out in the Notice, they may lodge non-refoulement claims with the Immigration Department (ImmD). Under the USM, the ImmD will assess their non-refoulement claims on all applicable grounds in one go.
The commencement of USM does not affect the Government's position that the Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol have never been applied to Hong Kong and our firm policy of not determining the refugee status of or granting asylum to anyone. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will continue to provide international protection to refugees in accordance with its mandate. In this connection, persons whose non-refoulement claim is substantiated under the USM on grounds of persecution risk will be referred to the UNHCR for recognition as refugees under its mandate and, if so recognised, arrangement of resettlement of them to a third country.
For more information on the making of a claim for non-refoulement protection in Hong Kong under the USM, please click the following hyperlinks: