1. The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress

Photo of the EOC Meeting

On 19 March 2015, Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met at the 109th EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business, including the latest work progress of the EOC’s strategic priorities. Members noted the progress made on two of the EOC’s strategic priority work areas, namely the Discrimination Law Review and the Feasibility Study on Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status. For the former, Members noted that the EOC is aiming to publish a report on the public submissions, which will include quantitative and qualitative analysis by the Commission, in the latter half of 2015. In addition, the EOC is planning to submit a report on the Commission’s findings and recommendations to the Government by end 2015. For the latter, the research team from the Gender Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia Pacific Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong has completed the relevant fieldwork and is now working on the Study report, which is expected to be ready by the second half of 2015.

Another major item discussed by Members at the meeting was the establishment of the EOC’s Multi-Ethnic Task Force, which is designed to promote the equal education and employment opportunities of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. The Task Force aims to address the needs of the ethnic minorities through three key aspects of work: policy, training and outreach. At the policy level, the Task Force will lobby and influence the Government, public and private sectors, as well as business operators and employers to develop policies and guidelines that facilitate equal opportunities for ethnic minorities, such as employing more ethnic minorities. In terms of training, the Task Force will provide cultural sensitivity training for practitioners in different sectors, including banking, education, property management, real estate, and transport through talks and workshops, as well as developing an online training module. For outreach, the Task Force will strengthen network with NGO and ethnic minority groups, and conduct regular meetings with service providers and ethnic minority community leaders to understand the needs and difficulties of ethnic minorities.

Read the press release


  1. The EOC Chairperson Urges Action to Combat Problems Faced by Ethnic Minorities in Accessing Vital Services

Article on SCMP

21 March of every year is observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Using the occasion to heighten public awareness, Dr. York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC, published an op-ed article in the South China Morning Post and Ming Pao Daily respectively to call attention to everyday racism, particularly in the provision of necessary goods, facilities and services, including housing, banking and healthcare. “Hong Kong is a racially diverse society, and has historically been a refuge for people of different backgrounds. Yet many Hongkongers who have made this city their home and are positively contributing to our society continue to face prejudice and discrimination in the course of their daily lives,” wrote Dr Chow. “To repeatedly suffer these small indignities, day in and day out, inflicts real wounds on one’s sense of belonging in a community. Such acts have no place in our city.” He urged the community to look beyond legal compliance towards proactively cultivating inclusive values, understanding about different cultures, and a willingness to reach across different groups. He also called on the Government to take the lead to advance racial integration.

Photo of IDERD 2015 Earlier on, the EOC jointly organised a public event on 14 March 2015 with RTHK Radio 2 to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Officiating at the launch ceremony was the Guest of Honour, Professor the Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Transport & Housing, HKSAR. Also joining the ceremony were Mr. Donald TONG Chi-keung, JP, Commissioner for Labour and Dr. W L CHEUNG, Director (Cluster Services) of the Hospital Authority.
 Dr. York CHOW, GBS, JP, the Chairperson of the EOC; Mr. TAI Keen-man, Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Programme), RTHK; and Ms Maggie CHAN, Director, Caritas Social Work Services, Caritas Hong Kong represented the co-organisers and supporting organisation respectively in the ceremony. The event, one of the Commission’s flagship public education initiatives, was attended by over 200 participants, including Consuls-General; representatives of Government bureaux and departments as well as non-governmental organisations; school principals; and ethnic minority community leaders and advocates. The afternoon featured speeches and sharing on issues relating to racial discrimination and equality, information exhibitions, as well as cultural and singing performances.

Read the South China Morning Post article (in English only)
Read the Ming Pao Daily article (in Chinese only)
More about our past IDERD events


  1. The EOC Appeals for Equality for People with Special Educational Needs

Poster of the World Autism Awareness Day event organised by Hong Kong Autism Awareness Alliance

Advancing inclusive education and equal access to learning opportunities for students with special educational needs (SEN) is one of the EOC’s strategic priority work areas. To continue to raise awareness on this issue, the EOC Chairperson will deliver a speech on World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April, at an event by the HK Autism Awareness Alliance.

In respect of the work by the EOC in this area, EOC Members also noted at the 109th EOC Meeting that the Commission would closely monitor the implementation of the support measures mentioned by the Chief Executive in the 2015 Policy Address, and assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the measures. To address the issue of inadequate support for non-Chinese speaking students with SEN, the EOC has urged the Government to review the situation and work with both public and private schools to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, the EOC will continue to advocate for a “central coordinating mechanism” to coordinate inter-departmental efforts in terms of policy formulation, resource allocation and implementation of integrated education in Hong Kong.

Read the EOC’s submission to the United Nations Committee on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities
More about World Autism Awareness Day event organised by Hong Kong Autism Awareness Alliance


  1. The EOC Chairperson Calls for Equal Opportunities for People with Epilepsy, Other Neurological Conditions and Rare Diseases

Poster on the Epilepsy Day

The last day of February is designated by the World Health Organization as Rare Disease Day, aimed at raising public awareness on a wide range of rare diseases and the impact on the lives of those living with them. Meanwhile, here in Hong Kong, we observe March as Epilepsy Awareness Month. Together, they give us an opportune moment to assess our own progress on addressing the barriers to equal opportunities faced by those living with medical conditions, including epilepsy, other neurological conditions, and rare diseases.

To raise public awareness about barriers to equal opportunities faced by these groups, Dr. York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC, published an op-ed article in Ming Pao Daily and the South China Morning Post on 6 and 7 March 2015 respectively. In the article, Dr. Chow urged the public to do their part to break down the stigma, often borne out of a lack of understanding, associated with medical conditions or illnesses. “Stigma can have devastating impact both on a patient’s willingness to seek, as well as on their ability to access, timely diagnosis and necessary treatment. It also means that many people living with chronic conditions regularly face social rejection,” wrote Dr. Chow. “The EOC believes that no one should be discriminated due to their medical condition. The hurdles are not insurmountable, but what is needed is the right accommodation to be provided. And we all must work together to heighten awareness and address this gap in existing services and support measures.”

Read the South China Morning Post article (in English only)
Read the Ming Pao Daily article (in Chinese only)
Enlighten – Action for Epilepsy


  1. AIDS Concern Organises 25th Anniversary Fun Run

Poster of the charity run organised by the AIDS Concern

This year is AIDS Concern’s 25th anniversary. In order to raise awareness and funds for local action on HIV, AIDS Concern is organizing its first charity run and walk event, a part of its campaign to remind Hong Kong that HIV remains a major threat to health and there is a strong need to take action. The theme for the event is “TRIPLE ZERO - ZERO new HIV infections, ZERO stigma and ZERO AIDS deaths.” Participants can choose either to run for 7.2km or walk 4km to raise money and awareness for action on HIV. Please see event details below:

Date: 19 April 2015 (Sunday)
Time: 8am – 12pm
Start point: The Peak Galleria, Findlay Road
Finish point: Victoria Peak Garden, Mount Austin Road


Visit our website or download the EOC mobile app (Apple App Store / Google Play) to stay updated on the EOC’s work and positions, and to review our press releases and calendar training. Also, stay tuned on other equal opportunities issues and community initiatives by visiting our community resources and community events pages for information from our community partners, including publications, survey reports, publicity campaigns, and upcoming conferences.