Contesting Entrapment: Women Asylum Seekers in Hong Kong

  • Alison Gerard
Part of the Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security book series (TCCCS)


This chapter draws on qualitative research with a diverse sample of female asylum seekers in Hong Kong to reveal the gendered consequences of entrapment and the politico-legal forces that influence women’s asylum seeking. The chapter outlines how women perceive their own legal categorization and how they manage the precarious livelihoods that ensue from ‘doing time’ in this global city. Complex structural economic, social and political factors influence the arrival of women asylum seekers in Hong Kong. These factors give rise to both dynamic and blurred legal categories that the government’s recently established ‘unified screening mechanism’ for all humanitarian protection claimants has sought to disentangle. Processes aimed at sorting women into palatable legal categories permeate the daily lives of asylum seekers and govern their interactions with government and non-government organizations alike. The chapter extends the analysis of entrapment to actors beyond police and state agencies by examining the role of non-government organizations, companionship and employment as dimensions in which entrapment and its resistance occurs, elucidating the varied contradictions that women’s resistance to entrapment may produce.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Gerard
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Law and JusticeCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

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