Institutional violence

Home Forums Live Open Mic Forum Institutional violence

  • This topic has 9 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Sum.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #7050

    Institutional violence is a barrier to social change. While government planned to build an artificial island in HK, it involves a deep network of vest interest. It include the purpose to integrate hk into china politically. As a result, our action to raise public awareness, signature campaign, meeting with government officials all are in vain. Furthermore, our action might being viewed as violating National Security Law, which involves life imprisonment. The building of artificial island damages the livelihood of disadvantage groups, such as flooding and landslide. In what ways does global social work community concerns the issue in HK?


    The issue of institutional violence is not just one for the social work community, the People’s Global Summit is about our joint responsibility to find ways together to make sure we can achieve a sustainable eco-social world. From your experiences how would you suggest we work together to achieve this? As the Secretary General of the UN said in his opening remarks – we the people can be the foundation of the changes needed for our shared futures. This is the space to bring suggestions forward as to how we may achieve this.


    These days, Social Workers in Hong Kong is facing disempowerment and loss of professional autonomy, under the threat of National Security Law which the line is blurred.

    We used to went on the streets to voice out. But now may be violate National Security Law.

    If social workers are not heard and is not supported, then the most vulnerable people are less likely to receive unnecessary support.

    I had the opportunity to share the difficulties in the summit on 1st July 2200 UTC. However, it is difficult for us to suggest ways as this might commit colluding with foreign countries that damage National Security. I am in this dilemma as well.

    Maybe it’s time to show your concern to HK social worker’s situation.

    If you are a social worker, or a friend of social workers, I invite you to voice us for us!


    This is the documentary produced by BBC about the situation in HK, especially after the National Security in effect.

    This shows a dimension of institutional violence.


    Thanks for raising the issue of the very difficult situation faced by the people of Hong Kong and the challenge for social workers who see injustices and want to take action, but now find it virtually impossible. I feel for you so much. I visited HK in June 2020 when the protests were happening, and social workers were on the frontlines on the street. Two years later the situation is so much worse. You are right to keep reminding the world what is going on in HK, and to seek solidarity and support.

    David N Jones

    This Global Summit process has emerged from many sources but one of them was the world social work conference in Hong Kong in 2010 when we agreed the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. That shaped the evolution of advocacy for social work by IFSW, IASSW and ICSW over the following decade and strengthened the voice of global social work. Hong Kong, and the many colleagues in HK who planned and supported that conference, have therefore played a key role in raising awareness. The political situation in many countries is now VERY challenging, including my own UK. There is no easy solution but the People’s Summit offers a channel for voicing people’s concerns and supporting each other in difficult times. The world faces absolutely basic threats to our very survival and leaders will have to listen or they will lead us to destruction. Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities, with a vibrant social work community which has made a disproportionate contribution to world social work. I look forward to my next visit.


    Sarah and David, the situation is getting worse. When you come to HK again and may even worser. I of course not hope like this, but when National security law is in effect, we don’t know what will be counted as damaging national security.

    David is right, there is no easy solution, but showing support and keeping to HK social work will be very important. Do you know there were 3 community workers in China suddenly disappeared few years ago which SWAN had issued a statement about this. We could not contact them. After 6 months, they quitted their job and told us all they did for the disadvantaged community was wrong. What I know is they organized rural community to advocate local policy change.

    I am seeking solidarity and support from you, I know I risk violating to collude with foreign affairs in terms of national security law nowadays. Global concern of course won’t change the situation in a dramatic way, but at least it is what HK social work needs today. Up until now, the global social work support is weak. I am not blaming or complaining, but from our limited situation and perspective, it is what we could ask from the global social work community humbly. Just like theory of bullying, the role of outsider is important and contributing so that the wicked will not be reckless.

    Thank you for both of yours ideas. Our leaders don’t listen and that’s why they never engaged HK social workers to discuss the insertion of national security law as one of criteria to register as social worker on HK. If we violate, we are disentitled to continue ad social workers and face other conviction from national security law.

    I am sorry to type it so long. I hope there is sustainable concern to Hong Kong Social Work.

    Kind regards,
    Wai-Sum KUNG

    David N Jones

    The challenges and the pain are well recognised, Wai-Sum. Sadly we see many governments preventing expression of opinion. Freedom of expression is a precious freedom where it exists. I can only say make choices with care.


    Thank you so much.

    Social work is community, both within nation state and beyond nation state. That’s why IFSW, IASSW, ICSW, etc are important. As social work focus on organizing collective efforts to push forward societal transformational change, it implies action taken/not-taken will have an impact within and beyond nation states.

    Freedom of expression is precious and we should not take-it-for-granted, as it is a kind of human rights that is the core of global social work definition. Within the global social work community, is it a mutual responsibility to safeguard or push forward the exercise of human rights?

    Under authoritarian ruling, make choices with care implies to stand by the side of status-quo, to abandon social justice and human rights that is the core element of global social work definition. If it is so, it is an ethical dilemma to make choice. When social work (some social workers as we know) choose to stand by the side to abandon social justice and human rights, is it still social work? Is it damaging the image of social work?

    We need collective power, and we need global social work community power. Maybe one will said, to issue a statement or position paper is useless. However, there is not even a position paper. Choose to voice out for disadvantage group is a choice. Hong Kong social work community is a kind of disadvantage group. We are not enjoying freedom to express opposite opinion anymore, and the situation is getting even worse.

    We need collective global social work community power. It’s a kind of choice of global social work community. It’s not a personal choice, I think.


    The following is yersterday’s news, not directly related to social work in Hong Kong, but reflected the suppressive context that Hong Kong social work is situated at.

    “Chinese independent journalist Huang Xueqin has won the 2022 Wallis Annenberg Justice Award for Women Journalists. She has been detained in the Guangzhou Detention Center for more than 280 days since she was detained twice last year, during which time she has been barred from meeting with lawyers and family members. Scholars believe that Huang Xueqin was retaliated by the Xi regime for exposing real social problems, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was indifferent to the case when he visited Guangzhou earlier. Organizations hope that Huang Xueqin’s award will draw international attention to journalists and writers in Hong Kong and China under pressure.”

    How to leave no-one behind if the above situation is not addressed and get no international attention? If not, then we risk “leaving no one behind” to be a rhetoric. We are leaving someone behind while we are saying leaving no one behind.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Sum.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • The forum ‘Live Open Mic Forum’ is closed to new topics and replies.