London Mayor Press Statement Reaffirms His Support for Hongkongers

Mayor reaffirms his support for Hongkongers arriving in London to mark two years since the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong

  • City Hall estimates London has welcomed more than 35,000 new arrivals from Hong Kong since the introduction of the new Hong Kong BN(O) visa

  • More than £200,000 has been granted to local authorities across the city to ensure Hongkongers have the best chance to thrive in London

  • City Hall has funded 12 civil society groups to support activities and projects promoting social integration

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today reaffirmed his support for Hongkongers arriving in the capital on the second anniversary of the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, which led to the loss of the political rights and freedoms of millions.

City Hall estimates that London has welcomed more than 35,000 new arrivals from Hong Kong since the introduction of the British Nationals (Overseas) visa in January 2021, with many more set to arrive in the coming months. From October, more young people will be eligible to move to the UK under the expanded BN(O) visa route, which will allow individuals born on or after 1 July 1998 and who have one BN(O) parent to independently apply for the visa.

Sadiq is committed to supporting those who have chosen to make London their home, which is why he has allocated funding, provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to local authorities and Hong Kong-led civil society groups to deliver projects and activities that ensure all new arrivals have the chance to thrive in the capital.

Through the Local Welcome Hong Kong Fund, more than £200,000 has been granted to eight local authorities across the city to coordinate support and give practical advice and assistance to Hongkongers. This includes supporting their mental health and wellbeing, enabling access to immigration and social welfare advice, and improving coordination of local services to better meet the needs of Hongkongers.

City Hall has also funded 12 civil society groups through the Welcoming Hongkongers Small Grants Programme. This was created to support grassroots organisations to help new arrivals from Hong Kong to integrate and build a sense of belonging in their new communities across the city.

This is helping to fund English language lessons, support to access further and higher education and information on starting a business. To further help new arrivals feel supported, Sadiq recently launched The Migrant Londoners Hub, which contains a wealth of information about the rights, entitlements and services available to Hongkongers arriving on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s been two years since China took the devastating decision to curtail the rights and political freedoms of Hongkongers. The UK has a historical and moral obligation to the people of Hong Kong, who have put their lives on the line to stand up for democracy and freedom of speech. I’m committed to doing all I can to ensure Hongkongers settling in London feel welcomed. That’s why we are funding local authorities and grassroots organisations to deliver projects and activities to support the needs of those arriving in our city.”

Kim, Co-Founder, HearthTalk: "We are thankful for the support we received from the Mayor and the Welcoming Hongkongers Fund that enables us to continue meeting the psychological needs of the London Hong Kong community and promoting mental health education. We look forward to a close working relationship with the Mayor’s team."

Jabez Lam, Centre Manager, Hackney Chinese Community Services: "Hackney Chinese Community Services has the honour of working with the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) on their consultations with and developing new services for Hongkongers, and making Hongkongers feeling safe and secure to make their home in London. Our Hongkonger Community Development Service develops local and specialist groups to serve Hongkongers, and some of these newly formed groups were successful in their application to the Mayor’s Welcoming Hongkongers Fund. This initiative will incubate a generation of Hongkongers to the vibrant Voluntary and Social Enterprise community. The Mayor’s work connecting Hongkongers with recent arrivals from Afghanistan and Ukraine and the many migrant and refugee services make the journey of Hongkongers settlement so much easier. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Mayor to welcome more Hongkongers in London and to support those settled to contribute to London’s vibrant society."

H. Chow, Project Director, Hong Kong Aid: "We appreciate being awarded funding from the Welcoming Hongkongers Fund. It is a great honour for Hong Kong Aid. We believe this will bring a great leap to our organisation in developing our services for Hong Kong Londoners. We have been providing services both to Hongkongers with a BNO Visa and those seeking asylum to troubleshoot their life-essential matters. It was not an easy road as a newly founded organisation. With our passion and the support from the Mayor, we believe that we could keep moving ahead on the road to show London as an accommodating and safe community for Hongkongers. We look forward to working with the Mayor to create a better vision of London for Hongkongers."


Published 30 June 2022



Find the original article here:

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-reaffirms-his-support-for-hongkongers


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