Periscope

December 2017 – Labour Pains

This issue of Periscope looks at the difficulties workers face in claiming compensation for industrial accidents, at the uphill struggle to improve workplace conditions and get recognition for work-related health problems in the service industry, and at attempts by freelancers and casual workers to form unions.

The Hidden Cost of Building a World City

The number of deaths on Hong Kong's construction sites has bucked the overall downward trend in industrial accidents across sectors in Hong Kong. But labour groups say the real number of workers killed and maimed on the job is higher than the official statistics suggest - because employers hide workplace accidents to avoid costly compensation claims.

Chronically Overlooked

Many regulations on workplace safety and occupational diseases were drawn up when Hong Kong's economy was based on industry and manufacturing. Most workers are now employed in the service sector but activists say common work-related ailments in the service industries aren't properly acknowledged.

Unions Strike Back

Permanent, stable employment is quickly becoming a thing of the past as businesses around the world increasingly hire freelancers and casual labour. For some young people, working as freelancers in the so-called gig economy promises flexibility and freedom but some are fast discovering the flipside of casual work arrangements and are beginning to unionise.

November 2017 – Out of sight, out of mind

A rare spotlight has been shone on prison life lately, a result of so many prominent Hong Kong figures behind bars or facing prison terms. They include a former Chief Executive, a former Chief...
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Our Community

Accommodating Anchor Children

While some mainland parents with Hong Kong-born children - also known as anchor children - have their kids make the lengthy cross-boundary commute to schools in Hong Kong, others choose to have their kids live here. Varsity takes a look at private fostering services catering to anchor children and agencies that specialise in getting student visas as a pretext for parents to look after their anchor children in Hong Kong.

A Closed Book

Earlier this year, the Ombudsman called the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to task for throwing away hundreds of thousands of books and other printed items from public libraries, instead of donating them. With ever increasing purchases and falling lending rates, is it time to rethink how our public libraries are stocked and run?

Wheelchair Travel Woes

Getting around Hong Kong is easy with its and efficient and widespread public transport network. But for people who use wheelchairs, seemingly straightforward journeys take on additional challenges.

K-Wave on Campus

The number of South Korean students in Hong Kong's universities has more than doubled in the past five years. Varsity learns that rankings, Hong Kong popular culture and the China factor are among the draws bringing them to Hong Kong's campuses.

When No One Calls it Rape

Current Hong Kong law dictates that men cannot be raped and Hong Kong society tends to think men cannot be victims of sexual abuse. The Law Reform Commission has published proposals to introduce a gender neutral approach to rape and other non-consensual sex offences, but so far there's been little progress on legislation.

Special Needs Children Await Adoption

Most of the children waiting to be adopted in Hong Kong are children with special needs, but few local families seem to be willing to take on the responsibilities of caring for a child with disabilities.

Multimedia

People

Lifestyle

Picking Your Own Food

Hong Kong has abundant wild plants because of its location in a sub-tropical climate zone. This makes it an ideal environment for foraging for food and medicinal plants, but most people have lost the traditional knowledge of how to identify and use the rich natural gifts in our environment.

Marijuana as Medicine?

The medical use of marijuana has been legalised in an increasing number of countries and regions, including Canada, Australia and some states in the US. Research shows the drug has some medical benefits but it is still completely prohibited in Hong Kong and advocates are not hopeful of any change in the law here soon.

Taking the Play out of Playground

You can't cycle, skateboard, make loud noises or even lie on benches in Hong Kong's public playgrounds. These rules are made to ensure safety, but they limit free play. Varsity looks at why playgounds are no longer fun, and what some people are doing about it.

Photo feature

A Splash in the Ocean

They're up and dipping into the sea when most people are still sleeping. Varsity meets Hong Kong's morning swimmers who insist on their daily dawn exercise come rain, shine or even typhoons!

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