Statement regarding Hong Kong’s adoption of a new national security law


March 20, 2024 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement on Hong Kong’s rapid passage of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and expressing deep concern regarding the impact the new law could have on human rights in Hong Kong:

“Canada is concerned that the new national security law adopted by Hong Kong could deviate further from internationally accepted standards of proportionality, transparency and accountability.

“The law’s broad definitions of national security offences and national security threats raise concerns about the potential for enforcement overreach. There is no clear provision for an independent review mechanism to ensure proportionality, transparency, and accountability in the law’s application.

“Canada recognizes Hong Kong’s right to enact legislation to address legitimate national security considerations. This new legislation, however, fails to safeguard the human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law and in international instruments to which Hong Kong is a party.

“The National Security Law imposed in 2020 led to the violation of human rights and the suppression of open debate in Hong Kong. The new law risks compounding the chilling effect created by the National Security Law at a moment when the city is trying to maintain its status as an open and free international hub.”


Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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