hong kong police force

Students demand universities in Canada stop posting jobs for Hong Kong Police Force

A coalition of more than 30 student groups from universities across the country issued a public letter Monday urging all Canadian post-secondary institutions to remove any job postings for the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) due to human rights violations. 

While the letter — shared on Twitter yesterday by UBCEHK (a student group from the University of British Columbia that aims "to protect and maintain the human rights, freedom and dignity of Hong Kong") — says the coalition jointly encourages all Canadian universities to halt any collaboration with the HKPF's recruitment efforts, it singles out UBC and the University of Toronto in particular. 

The two schools previously failed to act following student calls for postings to be removed from their respective job boards, and the coalition of groups is urging them to reconsider this decision.

"We encourage universities to follow the example set by McMaster University, which removed HKPF job postings promptly after students raised significant concerns," the letter reads.

It then goes on to detail some of the human rights violations committed by the HKPF in recent months as a result of the mass protests which broke out in September 2019 in response to a controversial extradition bill and eventually expanded to be more general, anti-government protests.

These violations include arresting student demonstrators en masse and laying siege to two major universities as well as firing live ammunition at protestors and using tear gas

The letter also explains that the police force has been condemned by Amnesty International and other organizations for its disproportionate use of force and torture in police detention, and it says Hong Kong's police watchdog has failed to hold the HKPF accountable.

This has basically allowed them to act with impunity, but it has also tattered their reputation.

"As a result, the HKPF has difficulty in recruiting new members within the city and has thus turned to overseas universities," the letter explains.

"By providing HKPF a platform to recruit, UBC and UofT are therefore complicit in human rights violations in Hong Kong by aiding and abetting perpetrators of state violence. This is completely unacceptable. Authoritarian regimes and their security forced should not be allowed to sustain their oppression by scouting for new recruits at Canadian universities."

The letter goes on to point out that, by refusing to remove these postings from job boards, both schools are failing to respect the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers' (CACEE) ethical recruitment guidelines, which state that "It is the Career Educator’s responsibility to address any questionable recruitment practices."

"Once again, we urge Canadian post-secondary institutions to reject job postings from the HKPF on their job boards. Inaction reflects particularly poorly on the reputations of UBC and UofT, and is antithetical to their stated commitments to equity, justice, and human rights," the letter states.

"Rather than attempting to appease or profit from authoritarian regimes, Canadian universities should be protecting students from dangerous employers and ensuring that their job boards are not co-opted to enable human rights violations abroad." 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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