About US

Hong Kong Watch is a UK-based registered charity which researches and monitors threats to Hong Kong’s basic freedoms, the rule of law and autonomy as promised under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle which is enshrined in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. 

We work at the apex between politics, academia and the media to shape the international debate about Hong Kong

We are in regular contact with senior diplomats, policy-makers and Parliamentarians in the UK, the US, the EU, Canada, Germany and beyond, to inform, advise and develop worldwide advocacy for Hong Kong’s freedoms, the rule of law and autonomy. We have developed excellent relationships with influential media outlets around the world, and work closely with respected academics to publish high-quality research.



Hong Kong Watch provides independent, comprehensive analysis and thought leadership on freedom and human rights in Hong Kong. We do this by:

  1. Monitoring and reporting developments in Hong Kong and international responses

  2. Providing high-level, authoritative and cutting-edge analysis of the situation

  3. Regularly updating Parliamentarians, government officials and the media in the UK and further afield

  4. Bringing together influential voices for high-level events on the situation in Hong Kong

  5. Providing an unbiased platform for Hong Kong civil society actors to share their perspectives

Our Achievements

In our first year (2017-2018), we have:

  • Published 4 in-depth reports

  • Received press coverage in international and Hong Kong media outlets including The Financial Times, The BBC, The Guardian, Agence France Presse, Daily Mail, Washington Post, New York Times, Telegraph, Times, Reuters, The South China Morning Post, Associated Press, the Economist and more.

  • Published opinion pieces in The Financial Times, Politics Home, The South China Morning Post, Conservative Home and Hong Kong Free Press.

  • Drafted many Parliamentary Questions, coordinated joint letters from Parliamentarians and prepared briefing for debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords

  • Met with Hong Kong legislators and helped facilitate meetings for visitors from Hong Kong with Parliamentarians, think-tanks, academics and media in London.

  • Organised four seminars and a reception with the former Governor of Hong Kong Lord Patten for the 21st anniversary of the handover.


"The people and government of the United Kingdom feel an obligation to the people of Hong KonG…"

Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC


UK Patrons
Hong Kong Watch are honoured the support of a number of eminent UK patrons, including: 

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC:
    a former Cabinet Minister under John Major and Margaret Thatcher who served as Foreign Secretary between 1995 and 1997

  • Catherine West MP:
    Labour Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green who is Deputy Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on China

  • Lord David Alton:
    an independent cross-bench peer, and once the youngest Member of Parliament, he is a leading voice for human rights around the world

  • Sir Geoffrey Nice QC:
    a British barrister, he led the prosecution in the trial of Slobodan Milošević in The Hague and has subsequently worked extensively at the International Criminal Court

We are sad that our fifth patron, Lord Ashdown of Norton sub-Hamdon recently passed away. In the coming year, we will be hosting an inaugural lecture in honour of the memory of Lord Ashdown and his commitment to Hong Kong.

International Patrons
We are also honoured to have the support of a group of international patrons, including:

  • Jung-Hoon Lee:

    the South Korean government’s inaugural Ambassador for North Korean Human Rights, and South Korea’s former Ambassador for Human Rights. He is currently professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul.

  • The Honourable David Kilgour, JD

    served as Canada’s Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific from 2002-2003, and served in the Canadian Parliament for 27 years. He is now a full-time campaigner for international human rights, after retiring from the Canadian Parliament in 2006.

  • Garnett Genuis MP

    Canada’s Deputy Shadow Minister for Foreign Affair

Benedict Rogers, a leading expert on human rights in East Asia, is Chairman of Trustees for Hong Kong Watch.


The people and government of the United Kingdom feel an obligation to the people of Hong Kong to help ensure that they enjoy their freedom and the rule of law for the next 25 years and beyond. Hong Kong Watch is a splendid initiative towards that end
— Sir Malcom Rifkind
Human rights, democracy, universal suffrage, the rule of law and judicial independence are as important in Hong Kong now as they were in 1997. The United Kingdom and China both have a legal obligation to stand up for these doctrines, enshrined in the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle. Our Islands share a deep history that is continuing to grow through trade, education, politics and culture and our commitment to Hong Kongers’ rights must remain as steadfast as ever, which is why I am honoured to become a Patron of Hong Kong Watch.
— Catherine West MP
Twenty years after the handover of Hong Kong to China, it is clear that Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy are threatened. Britain has specific moral and legal responsibilities to Hong Kong. The launch of Hong Kong Watch, an organization that will conduct independent, critical, constructive and responsible research and advocacy to uphold, defend and strengthen Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy, as promised to Hong Kong under the Basic Law, the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the concept of ‘one country, two systems’, is very welcome, timely and much needed. I am delighted to be a Patron of Hong Kong Watch, having first visited Hong Kong as a young Member of Parliament representing the city of Liverpool with its vibrant connections to Hong Kong, and having met in recent months some of the brave young campaigners for democracy in Hong Kong, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law. I look forward to supporting Hong Kong Watch as a Patron, in order to defend and strengthen the basic freedoms which Hong Kong people have been promised and deserve.
— Lord Alton
“As China’s power in the world grows, its responsibilities increase, and China has a responsibility to live up to its promises and obligations to Hong Kong. In recent years there are worrying signs that ‘one country, two systems’ and Hong Kong’s basic freedoms are being eroded. Britain has a responsibility to Hong Kong too, to monitor and speak out for Hong Kong’s way of life. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is precisely that – a joint declaration signed by both countries and lodged at the United Nations. Hong Kong Watch is being established to monitor, research and advocate in defence of Hong Kong’s freedoms, autonomy and rule of law and to urge both China and Britain to fulfil its obligations under the Joint Declaration, and that is why I am delighted to be a Patron of Hong Kong Watch.” 
— Lord Ashdown

Hong Kong Watch is Registered Charity # 1180013 with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

Disclaimer: Hong Kong Watch is an entirely independent organization, unaffiliated to any other organization but working in collaboration and partnership with others. Hong Kong Watch has no institutional relationship whatsoever with the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, for whom we have deep respect and with whom we share common values and vision.