We are always concerned about women's conditions and announce our opinions on issues in due time.
Media Inquiry: If you have any inquiries about our work, services, or issues that we concern, please feel free to contact us at 2153 3153 or email us at


Position Paper to the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong on the Proposed Legislation of "Failure to Protect a Child or Vulnerable Person" Offence (Summary)

In recent years, there have been numerous cases of abuse of children, elderly and domestic helpers. However, limited by the Offence Against the Person Ordinance, no prosecutions and convictions have been taken for some cases. Therefore, the Law Reform Commission (LRC) has proposed to revise the Offence Against the Person Ordinance, introducing a new offence of "failure to protect a child or vulnerable person where the child's or vulnerable person's death or serious harm results from an unlawful act or neglect" (section 25A) (hereinafter referred to as "Failure to Protect a Child or Vulnerable Person Offence" or "the proposed offence"). The intention of the proposed offence is to enhance protection to children and vulnerable people and to impose heavier penalties to increase the deterrent effect, and at the same time hope the general public could recognise the potential risks to the relevant parties in early stages, in order to ensure appropriate protection measures are in place.


Children are the future pillars of society, and other vulnerable persons are less able to protect themselves. The HKFWC expresses understanding and support towards the enactment of the new Ordinance for added protection. However, the amendment of the Ordinance covers a wide range of areas, including respite service, institutions, and even regular carers provided by social welfare organisations. Therefore we express reservations about the implementation of the Ordinance without adequate complementary facilities and preparations. Moreover, we express concern over the legal provisions and enforcement of the proposed offence. We hope the Government could pay more attention to the original text of the Ordinance, the minimum age for indictments, and the related complementary facilities and community education during the process of legislation, in addition, they should consult legal professional bodies and the relevant stakeholders such as the social welfare sector and parents etc.


Our Suggestions:

The HKFWC agrees that the society and the Government should protect children and vulnerable persons in order to minimise the risk of any harm. However, there are still some unclear areas regarding the proposed offence, we have the following suggestions:

  • To clearly define the original text in the proposed offence, or provide easily understandable examples and explanations on specific terms of the Ordinance, in order to allow the public to have better comprehension and understanding of the content.
  • To propose an amendment in the proposed offence to lower the minimum age for indictments to 16 years old, in order to reduce the risks of minor carers committing offence because they are not intellectually mature yet.
  • To provide adequate complementary facilities and community education and let the public understand more about the proposed offence. The Government should also identify high-risk cases for early intervention.

Media Enquiry

Ms Si-si Liu

(852) 2153 3153

Mr Alvin Chung

Senior Development Officer|Development
(852) 2153 3153