1. Sexual harassment must stop! EOC Chairperson urges for joint community effort to combat this unlawful act

Hong Kong’s home-grown hurdler LUI Lai-yiu’s Facebook post on 30 November revealing that she was sexually assaulted by her coach when she was 13 came as a wake-up call for our city – sexual harassment is a serious problem in our community and we must face it squarely.

Sexual harassment is one of the biggest topics these days. The West has been talking about it since Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was exposed for having sexually assaulted a number of actresses. And in Hong Kong, just the week before Lui’s story came out, the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women announced its #MeTooHK campaign against sexual harassment.

The EOC has been a keen participant in the social conversation about sexual harassment. EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming promptly responded to the #MeTooHK campaign and the breaking news about Lui with an article in the South China Morning Post on 29 November and an op-ed piece sent to print and online newspapers on 30 November respectively. In the articles, Prof Chan condemned acts of sexual violence and called for joint community effort to stamp out this unlawful act. In particular, he urged all sectors to stop the “not my problem” attitude and start taking sexual harassment seriously.

Indeed, the EOC has been organising seminars and talks for a number of industries and sectors to raise awareness of the issue. It also tailor-made guidelines to assist specific sectors including the sports sector in putting in place policies to handle internal sexual harassment complaints.

Ultimately, to stop sexual harassment effectively, we will need the joint effort of the Government, public bodies, businesses, NGOs, the media and academia. “Once people stop normalising sexual harassment and start seeing it as unacceptable behaviour, and condemn rather than condone it, we will see the cultural shift we hope for. We not only have to say ‘Me Too’, but also ‘I Do’ – and make an active effort to kick sexual harassment out of our community,” wrote Prof Chan.

Read Prof Chan’s article in the South China Morning Post
Read Prof Chan’s article in response to LUI Lai-yiu’s revelation (Chinese only)
Read recent news and commentaries on sexual harassment
Explore EOC’s resources on sexual harassment prevention


  1. It’s time to end the stigma of AIDS

Last Friday (1 December) saw the world observing World AIDS Day, a United Nations’ initiative to call for solidarity in the fight against HIV and for support for people living with HIV. Globally, more than 70 million people have been infected with HIV, and an estimated 36.7 million living with HIV/AIDS. In Hong Kong, the figure reached 8,952 as of 30 September 2017, according to the Department of Health.

Despite advances in HIV treatments over the years, stigma and discrimination, caused by fear and lack of understanding, remain the biggest challenges in addressing HIV in Hong Kong and the world at large. Such biased attitude not only affects those infected with HIV/AIDS, but also hinders treatment and prevention and thus poses threats to public health.

At present, those infected or living with HIV/AIDS are protected under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) from discrimination and harassment, as the definition of “disability” covers the presence of organisms in the body that cause or are capable of causing diseases or illnesses. Between 2013 and 2016, the EOC received three complaints related to HIV/AIDS under the DDO.

Clearly, more needs to be done to remove the stigma and prejudice associated with HIV/AIDS in the interest of public health. As members of society, we should increase our awareness and knowledge of HIV/AIDS, speak out against prejudices, and offer compassion and support to those affected by the disease.

Find out more about the Disability Discrimination Ordinance
Contact the Department of Health’s AIDS Hotline


  1. EOC joined city to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Another international day observed this past week was International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this day in 1992, with the aim of promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and raising awareness of their situation.

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry vividly described the support and sensitivity PWDs need from their communities: “We often think of human rights in theoretical terms, but for PWDs, the concept could not be more tangible. It finds its expression in a sidewalk with curb cuts, a public building with accessible entrances and bathrooms, a bus with lifts, an elevator with Braille and audio cues, a train platform with tactile strips, and students with intellectual and developmental disabilities being included in classes with non-disabled children.”

As members of the community, we have the civic responsibility to make our environment inclusive for everyone. In celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, various NGOs and concern groups organised a range of activities to engage the public in this regard. Among these activities was the “18 Districts Caring Employers” prize presentation ceremony organised by the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities, which EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming attended as an officiating guest. Another initiative was a new Asia Disability Toolkit launched by Community Business for companies to raise awareness internally of the benefits of an inclusive workplace for PWDs. Hopefully, with the concerted effort of different parties, we will see a truly inclusive and discrimination-free society one day.

Visit the United Nations’ website for more information on International Day of Persons with Disabilities


  1. Who is caring for the carers?

News of someone killing a loved one who is sick because it is too stressful to care for a person with a long-term illness makes our hearts turn sour. This year so far, we have already heard three such incidents in Hong Kong. This is ironic when we think about how much Hong Kong is trying to keep up to its reputation as “Asia’s world city”.

Lamenting the tragedies, EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming shared his thoughts in his am730 column on how the needs of carers of people with disabilities and illnesses are often overlooked, and how the Government can provide them with better support to prevent more tragedies from striking our society. 

The EOC also plays a part in protecting those who have family responsibilities by implementing the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance, which protects people from discrimination on the ground of family status in employment, education, the provision of goods, services or facilities, and the disposal or management of premises.

At the end of the day, policies and laws are the last resort to resolve problems. Prof Chan expressed the wish to see a better community support network and greater empathy and compassion within the community, which are the most needed to pull people out of the abyss of helplessness.

Read Prof Chan’s article in am730  (Chinese only)
A sharing website for carers (Chinese only)
Support services offered to carers of elderly people by the Social Welfare Department
Learn about your rights under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance


  1. Visit us at the SmartBiz Expo

The EOC is taking part in the SmartBiz Expo (formerly World SME Expo), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to bring together enterprises from different industries and sectors, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We invite you to visit us at our booth, where our staff will provide information on the four anti-discrimination ordinances. Visitors can also pick up some of the EOC’s publications and souvenirs at the booth while stocks last.
Essential information
Date: 6-8 December 2017
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
EOC booth: No. 1C-A09

About the SmartBiz Expo
Download the EOC’s “Equal Opportunities: Concise Guide for Small and Medium Enterprises


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.