Illustration by former EOC youth programme mentor Tina Ko

  1. EOC Chairperson wrote about refugee issues

Screen shot of the EOC
World Refugee Day was observed on 20 June. That day, EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming published an article in Hong Kong Free Press to raise concern about the state of asylum seekers in Hong Kong. He expresses his worries about the discrimination against asylum seekers, whom certain politicians and media stereotype as “fake refugees” and “criminals”.

Although Hong Kong is not a party to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and thus bears no obligation to grant asylum seekers the right of abode, it has the obligation to screen non-refoulement claims under the United Nations Convention against Torture. As at December last year, the number of asylum seekers waiting for their applications to be screened by the Hong Kong authorities totalled 9,981 according to the Immigration Department.

During their stay in Hong Kong, asylum seekers are protected by the Race Discrimination Ordinance, which is implemented by the EOC together with the other anti-discrimination ordinances. Indeed, one of the EOC’s strategic focuses is to promote racial inclusion and harmony in Hong Kong. Earlier in March, our Ethnic Minorities Unit launched the EMbRACE campaign to rally the support of NGOs, businesses, schools and other entities in eliminating racial discrimination.

Just this week, the unit invited a number of NGOs, whose key service targets include ethnic minorities and asylum seekers, to talk about their work and views on the issue in short videos. Another short video was also produced in which Prof. Chan speaks about the subject. You can watch all the videos on the EOC’s Facebook pages on the EMbRACE campaign and “Uniquely Me!”, a programme aimed at facilitating interaction among youths from different ethnic backgrounds.

Read Prof. Chan’s article in Hong Kong Free Press (English only)
Watch the interview videos


  1. Better support needed for parents juggling work and domestic responsibilities

Illustration of a mom juggling domestic responsibilities and financial independence

Governments in many developed economies are desperate to get their citizens to have more children in the face of population ageing. Hong Kong no doubt has to tackle this imminent challenge. Whereas financial consideration and political uncertainties are among the top factors causing some couples to think twice about posterity, the hesitation for many boils down to practical reasons: the lack of childcare support in the community that can allow the parents to work.

Women are especially affected by the burden of childcare and household responsibilities. Government data suggest that there are about 600,000 female “home-makers” in the territory, but no more than 20,000 stay-at-home dads. On the other hand, as women in our society are enjoying better education and job opportunities, it is understandable that some of them are reluctant to give up their independence for childcare and homemaking.

In the latest entry of his am730 column, Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, EOC Chairperson, expressed his views over this issue. He urges the Government to promote better work-life balance and a more family-friendly work culture through such ways as providing childcare services to relieve the burden on working parents, and more training for mothers who are willing to take up paid employment.

Riding on Father’s Day last week, some workers’ groups petitioned for extended paid paternity leave for new dads to reflect their equally important role in childcare and allow them to fulfil their parenting duties. Indeed, if men are encouraged to share more of the everyday domestic responsibilities, women will naturally be able to shift more of their energy and time to their careers. Breaking down stereotypical gender roles and implementing realistic measures to this end will lead to a win-win-win situation: for women, for men, and for society.

A quick tip: The Sex Discrimination Ordinance protects pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. Meanwhile, both men and women who have responsibilities to care for a family member are protected by the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance.

Read Prof Chan’s am730 article (Chinese only)
Learn more about how the Sex Discrimination Ordinance protects pregnant women
Read about the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance


  1. EOC’s autumn training workshops are open for application

Cover of the EOC autumn 2017 training workshops leaflet

Two times a year, the EOC runs a set of training workshops on equal opportunities. The next series will begin in mid-August 2017. Members of the public are welcome to join these workshops, some of which are free, to learn more about the work of the EOC, Hong Kong’s anti-discrimination legislation, and other discrimination issues. Various training sessions focus on the liabilities of businesses and discrimination in the workplace, and are particularly useful for those who may be required to deal with such issues, such as human resource professionals, SME owners, and employees in management positions.

Interested parties can sign up seven working days before the workshops take place, on a first-come, first-served basis. EO Club members can enjoy special offers. For details, please visit the EOC website.

Important note: All workshops held on or after 6 November will be held in Wong Chuk Hang, where the new EOC office will be located.

Read the autumn training programme pamphlet and register for the workshops
Join the EO Club


  1. CUHK’s “Multiculturalism in Action” shares knowledge with community

Poster of CUHK

The Chinese University of Hong Kong launched the Multiculturalism in Action (MIA) project in 2013. Offering workshops on ethnic minority cultures, including Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan, the project aims to foster better understanding among local residents from different ethnic backgrounds and bring them closer together.

The latest programme under MIA is the ICONIC Mums project, with ICONIC standing for “InterCultural, ON target, and Informed. We are Change makers!” The programme targets to engage 40 women of different ethnic origins and provide them with training on such topics as lifestyle and health, self-expression, and the role they play in their communities. After the training, the participants will apply their new knowledge and skills on community-based projects they develop in teams.

The training workshops are free of charge and the participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the project. For details and enrolment, please refer to the designated MIA website.

Register for the ICONIC Mums training workshops
Find out more about the MIA project


Visit our website or download the EOC mobile app 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.