Hong Kong parents send one in five Nepalese students to Nepal against will: report News
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Hong Kong parents send one in five Nepalese students to Nepal against will: report

Parents in Hong Kong send one in five Nepalese students to Nepal against their will. according to a survey publicized on Friday by Hong Kong Unison, a non-profit organization focusing on equal opportunities and integration for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.

In a press conference titled “Challenges Faced by Nepalese Youth in Hong Kong,” Executive Director John Tse announced findings on the lives of the Nepalese ethnic minority in Hong Kong. Among the 268 Nepalese students the group surveyed, more than 50 have been sent away from their parents against their will. 40% of them were forced to spend time away because of family problems and financial difficulties in Hong Kong. In more extreme cases, young Nepalese girls were sent to Nepal to enter into forced marriages.

For male students, a substantial portion of them were sent away because of drug use in Hong Kong. The survey revealed that 70% of the participants considered drug abuse a serious problem among the Nepalese community in Hong Kong. Overall, this led to an “alarming” drop-out rate for Nepalese students, which is more than 15 times higher than the city average. Tse highlighted the importance of education for these young students and called the size of the problem “disturbing.” He added that depriving children of their freedom because of lifestyle choices did not reflect Hong Kong’s values. Tse stressed that young Nepalis should be empowered to stand for themselves and called for more awareness campaigns in the future.

Nepalis are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, after Filipinos, Indonesians, Indians and Pakistanis. As of 2021, around 29,700 Nepalis live in Hong Kong. The Nepalese community in Hong Kong is exceptionally young, with more than 30% below the age of 24. The report comes as Nepal struggles with gender inequality and human rights advocates express concern about the situation in Hong Kong, where two former UK judges recently stepped down from the city’s courts and authorities continue arrests related to dissent.