Hong Kong's methadone programme is held up as a model that has worked to prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users and assist addicts to lead functional lives. But as the number of heroin users has decreased in the territory, the programme's value has been questioned. Varsity looks at the impact methadone has had as a method of harm reduction.
When is a local not a local? When the nationality law says they are not Chinese nationals because they are not of Chinese ethnicity. Members of Hong Kong's ethnic minority communities who born and raised here have to apply to become Chinese nationals before they can apply for S.A.R. passports and they say the current system lacks transparency and accountability.
There are fewer than 40 serving guide dogs in the city, or around one guide dog for every 4,300 visually impaired people; the International Guide Dog Federation says ideally there should be one guide dog for every 100. It's hard to train more partly because existing laws and regulations only acknowledge the use of guide dogs for the visually impaired, not the trainers.
Anuj Gurung was born in Hong Kong, so he should have gone to school when he was 6, but he just started this year at the age of 7. This is because he is the son of an asylum-seeker, thus his family had to navigate a maze of red tape to get him to school. NGOs estimate that there are around 500 such children in Hong Kong who would be in the same predicament.
Hong Kong's successful Paralympics athletes are widely lauded by the government and in the media for their inspiring achievements. But little is heard about sporting needs of ordinary disabled people. Here, they tell Varsity about the problems they face in finding venues to train and the hurdles they encounter with the lack of facilities that cater to their needs.
It is a misconception that Hong Kong doesn’t have enough international school places. In fact, there are too many, says Ruth Benny from Top Schools.
The intellectually disabled age more quickly than other people. This means they need services aimed at the elderly before they are officially entitled to it. Activists are campaigning to redefine old age for this group, so that they too can enjoy social benefits for the elderly.
Street performers tell Varsity about their thoughts on the current schemes regulating buskers in Hong Kong - would a licensing system help, or would it impose too many limitations?
Many Hong Kong parents believe that giving their kids the best start in life means pushing them to study more and to learn earlier. However, some parents are adopting other learning approaches. Varsity chats with these parents and their children’s teachers to learn about their reasons for pursuing ‘unconventional’ pre-school education.
The number of disabled students at Hong Kong's universities has risen over the past decade. New facilities built on the territories campuses have to comply with guidelines for disabled access. But as some disabled students have told Varsity, barrier-free access is not just about getting around campus.