8 DEC, 2022

Looking Into Social Inclusion From the Identity of Ethnic Minority Hong Kong Youth

Written by : David Lai

Hong Kong’s social inclusion policy, which aims to ensure equality and respect for everyone in different areas of life, rarely mentions ethnic identity. However, for ethnic minority Hong Kong youth in a race with low socio-economic status (hereafter referred to as disadvantaged ethnic minority HK youth), ethnic identity may have an impact on their psychology, growth, and long-term development in Hong Kong, and any mishandling will cost both individuals and society.


Aiming to understand the ethnic identity of disadvantaged ethnic minority HK youth, probe into the obstacles they face and potential impacts, and put forward policy suggestions, MWYO collected questionnaires from 144 secondary school students aged 12 to 17 from disadvantaged ethnic minorities, covering Pakistani, Filipino, Indian, and Nepali. In this research, the Ethnic Identity Scale is used to identify the four ethnic identity statuses of those answering the questionnaires: diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium, and achievement. For each status, the youth state can be divided into positive and negative states: youth in the positive state feel good about their ethnic group membership, and vice-versa, depending on their experience of interacting with society.


57.8% of respondents identified themselves as Hong Kong people/Chinese (28.2% stated “I am Hong Kong people/Chinese” + 29.6% stated “I am (ethnic minority) + Hong Kong/Chinese”). Among the ethnic identity categories, however, 68.0% were diffusion or foreclosure and 94.4% were negative, indicating that a majority of respondents never or rarely explored their personal ethnic identity and felt negative.


Our policy recommendations fall into three broad categories: contributing to society (suggestions 1 to 3), integrating into mainstream life (suggestions 4 and 5), and promoting ethnic identity (suggestions 6 and 7)


  1. Launch the Partner Internship Programme
  2. Make good use of “Project Gemstone” and “Project Himalaya”
  3. Organise Ethnic Minority Ambassador Group to encourage participation in community affairs within the system
  4. Implement the Local Partnership Scheme for ethnic minority HK youth
  5. Launch the Minority Family Visitor Programme
  6. Build an ethnic history and culture pavilion and database
  7. The government recognises the identity of ethnic minorities as Hong Kong people