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Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Cross-border help for young offenders suggested

Cross-border help for young offenders suggested

Cross-border rehab services should be offered to Hong Kong teenagers who have committed crimes in the mainland, the city's biggest political party has suggested.
That is among 21 proposals the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong made ahead of the "Two Sessions" - the meetings of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress - that begin on March 4 and 5 respectively in Beijing.

DAB chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king said the meetings are important as they will be the first since the 20th congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

The DAB, which has seven NPC delegates and nine CPPCC members, suggested a cross-border "aid and education service base" be set up for young Hongkongers who have committed an offense that could lead to a prison term of 12 months or less.

The party noted that mainland law states prosecutors can decide not to charge young offenders whose crimes would deliver short terms in prison and if they show remorse as well as meet certain conditions during a probation period.

But it would be difficult for mainland prosecution officials to monitor young offenders in Hong Kong, the DAB observed. So it suggested an aid and education service to provide backing in cases when young offenders are Hong Kong residents.

Mainland judicial officials could designate organizations or personnel in Hong Kong who could provide aid and education to help in rehabilitation in the SAR, the party said.

In the mainland, aid and education services are just like rehabilitation services in Hong Kong or social counseling services, said CPPCC delegate Clement Lui Kin of the DAB.

And in operation the aid and education services would not be following up on the work of law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong, Lui said.

The DAB also suggested improving Hongkongers' understanding of national affairs including allowing SAR civil servants to take temporary positions for exchanges with mainland authorities and to encourage Hong Kong teenagers to intern at public institutions and to participate in poverty alleviation work in different provinces and cities.

The party proposed too a loosening of requirements for Hong Kong accountants to practice in the mainland, referring to the experience of the qualifying examination for Hong Kong lawyers to work in the Greater Bay Area.

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