#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)


    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

    Hashtag# Hong Kong, Radio 3 RTHK
    I have been privileged to work with young people in Hong Kong for 27 years.  During this time, I have been witness to their strengths, their resilience, their joys and even their struggles and frustrations; fears and anxieties. 
    So, it is a bit worrying, that because of Hong Kong’s record low birth rate, the number of young people in our city is declining. According to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department in February this year , the population of young people aged between 20 and 34 stands at 1.23 million or 16.3 per cent of the population, as compared to the total population in 2014, it was declined around 20%.
    Yes, the government was enthused to announce in February this year that, for the first time since 2017, there was an uptick in births in 2023, with over 33,000 births recorded in the same year, a two per cent increase over 2022. But this is not the full picture.  
    The truth is that more and more couples are deciding not to have children, with reasons stated in a Family Planning Poll in 2023 as including, “fear of child-rearing responsibilities, society being unsuitable for children’s development and heavy financial burdens.”   Compounded by delays in young people getting married, along with a death rate above the number of births, and a high life expectancy rate, what this means is that we are looking into a future with an ageing, rather than a youthful, population.    
    I know that this is a phenomenon not unique to Hong Kong. And I do applaud all the measures laid out by the Chief Executive in his last Policy Address to tackle the city’s record low birth rates, including cash handouts and easier access to subsidised housing for families with children. 
    But what does the falling birth rate – in real terms – mean for the future of Hong Kong?
    Working with The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the city’s largest youth service organisation, my primary concern is how we might address what this challenge represents for Hong Kong.
    We know that young people are incredibly talented and innovative and have contributed to the city’s growth. 
    We know they are technologically advanced to seek pioneering solutions to social problems and have started businesses and become social entrepreneurs.
    We know they are talented in the arts and sports. 
    We know that they are socially aware as they take the lead in environmental sustainability and climate change.
    We know that despite mental and emotional challenges, they did not give up.  
    This is the generation that is ready to make a difference and they are the talent and energy that Hong Kong needs to thrive.
    However, with a declining birth rate and fewer young people, we are facing far-reaching consequences.
    For example, as primary school enrolments drop, this will have a knock-on effect on higher education too. 
    This chain effect will then see employers – across the sectors – struggle to find young workers, and then, with a shrinking workforce, elderly health and social care will be affected as the tax base decreases.  
    All these concerns make me more determined that the decreasing birth rate is not an issue for the government alone.
    We as a society – all of us – the non-profit sector, civil groups, businesses, and policymakers – need to work together to see how we can create a more nurturing environment for families to raise the next generation of talents and drive Hong Kong's continued development. 
    That is why I believe that one area where we can focus our attention is on the family. The family, in my experience, is the pillar of society and from which the seeds of the future sprout. 
    I understand that is not easy, but don't we – as citizens – have a responsibility for the future as well? As a youth centric organisation, the Federation not only provides a range of services to young people, that caters to their emotional, physical, educational and occupational advancement, but also allows them the space and encouragement to actively participate and engage in public issues and policy advocacy. 
    Despite the difficulties – and there are many – including political and social discontent, belief that the quality of life is decreasing, as are educational and employment opportunities, should we not consider how having children is something that ensures development and prosperity in the long term?
    Having families, and increasing our birth rate, is one way to seek a long-term solution for a very pressing short-term problem. But what we must offer young people is a sense of hope and of belonging.
    Then, when our birth rates increase, we must do everything we can to ensure that these children and young people are provided with opportunities so that they too may contribute to Hong Kong’s future development. 
    I make this clarion call to everyone. Let Hong Kong not be left behind. 
    And, on an optimistic note, I'd like to dedicate this song, written to celebrate a baby’s birth, for everyone in Hong Kong: Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder.

    14/07/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    14/07/2024 - Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth


    05 - 07


    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups


    Sky Siu, outgoing CEO of Kely Support Group


    Dana Winograd, CEO & Co-Founder of Plastic Free Seas


    L-R:  Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University


    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages) CUHK


    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power


    Janet Wong, from Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan


    Koonie Chan, Executive Board Member of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services


    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society

    Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University

    Good Morning. This is Diana from The Hong Kong Society for the Aged, to share the situation of elder abuse in Hong Kong. The Central Information System for Elder Abuse Cases of the Social Welfare Department received 318 reports in 2023. In the first quarter of 2024, 90 cases were reported. However, according to the World Health Organization, around one in six people aged 60 or above experienced some form of abuse in communities during the past year. The elderly population in Hong Kong in 2023 was around 1,570,000. It implies that more than 261,000 abuse cases may be overlooked.

    Some elder people may not be aware of being abused, or some may actively or but being forced to keep silent on their misfortunes. The elder abuse victims may fear retaliation and worry that reporting the abuse may lead to even more severe mistreatment. And some may feel ashamed or blame themselves for the abuse and therefore they are reluctant to tell others what they have experienced. At the same time, the abusers often conceal their improprieties by controlling the victims’ social activities and interaction with outsiders. The elder people may have no chance to seek help, or may be threatened, to cover the truth. In this case, the needs of elderly people being abused are neglected and they keep suffering from mistreatment.

    Elder abuse is defined as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”. According to the Central Information System for Elder Abuse Cases, there are three major types of elder abuse that dominate the cases reported to the system. Physical abuse means physical injuries caused by acts of violence. It usually accounts for over 70 percent of the reported abuse cases. More than 10 percent of the cases fall into psychological abuse. It refers to the behaviour or attitudes towards an elderly person that endangers or impairs his or her psychological health, for example, insulting, scolding, isolation and intimidation. And the third one is financial abuse which contributes to around 5 to 10 percent of the cases. Some examples of financial abuse are taking away an elder’s money or transferring his or her assets without consent. Other types of elder abuse include neglect, abandonment and sexual abuse. Most abusers are spouses or intimate partners of the elderly person being abused. The causes of abuse are multifaceted and can include family stress, economic difficulties, caring stress and psychological issues faced by the abusers.

    Professor Elsie Yan from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will share how the community and the government can help the situation.

    Hi, this is Elsie. Diana talked about how common elder abuse is in our community, so what can we do about it?

    First of all, it is important for each and every one of us to have a high sense of awareness of elder abuse. From our experience, elder abuse victims seldom seek help on their own and most cases which eventually received services were referred by people who had noticed the abuse. These include professionals, such as social workers, nurses and medical doctors, as well as lay persons such as concerned neighbours and friends, or security guards. It is important that we reach out to suspected victims proactively and offer them help.

    To achieve this goal, it is essential that we all understand signs and symptoms of abuse. Some forms of abuse have apparent symptoms and could be easily picked up. Unexplained bruises and fractures could be symptoms of physical abuse; Recurrent urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted diseases may represent sexual abuse; Malnutrition or lack of necessary appliances such as glasses and dentures may indicate neglect; Other forms of elder abuse, however, may be more difficult to detect. Although financial exploitation has no obvious symptoms, we should be alert when there is a sudden transfer of funds from seniors’ bank accounts, or unpaid bills. Seniors suffering psychological abuse may be depressed and anxious, or socially withdrawn. If fellow citizens acquire a better understanding of elder abuse and step up to help suspected victims, we could be able to provide victims with timely intervention or prevent abuse from happening altogether. At the same time, seniors need to be aware of their own rights and be empowered to seek help as necessary.

    In view of this, the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences launched the Happy Edward Project. This project was funded by the Lee Hys an Foundation. So far our project staff have identified more than 350 high risk cases from 2300 seniors. More than 100 cases have received our services which include one-on-one counselling, goal setting and empowerment exercise to increase victims’ readiness for change, health management, etc. Health and social professionals are in a very good position to help identify elder abuse cases. To support them, we provide targeted training to improve their knowledge and competence in handling elder abuse cases. Please join hands with us to combat elder abuse.

    We would like to dedicate this song What if the world by Charmaine Fong to everyone.


    23/06/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    23/06/2024 - Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University