1. EOC releases survey on kindergarten admission policies and attitudes towards non-Chinese applicants

EOC releases survey on kindergarten admission policies and attitudes towards non-Chinese applicantsThe EOC unveiled findings of its “Survey on Kindergarten Admission Policies and Attitudes towards Non-Chinese Applicants” on 14 March 2018. Designed as an update to a similar study conducted by Hong Kong Unison in 2015, the survey aims to assess improvement in the fairness and openness of kindergarten admission practices targeting children from ethnic minorities, South Asians in particular.

The survey took the form of telephone enquiries, made by EOC staff posing as parents to 179 kindergartens under the Education Bureau’s Free Quality Kindergarten Education Scheme, which grants additional funds to kindergartens admitting eight or more non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students. In spite of the incentives currently in place, it was found that one in four kindergartens gave a rejecting, discouraging or ambiguous response when asked if they would accept applications from NCS children. More alarming still, over 30% stated upfront that they do not provide support for NCS students to learn Chinese as a second language while over 20% consider Chinese proficiency a selection criterion which, in the absence of a justifiable reason, may constitute unfair treatment and indirect discrimination under the Race Discrimination Ordinance, given that the language we speak is often associated with our race. Of equal concern is that over 70% of kindergarten websites are either totally or mostly inaccessible to NCS parents, with essential information – tuition fees, school facilities, class structure, curriculum designs, etc – available in Chinese only. While over 70% of the kindergartens surveyed said admission interviews would be conducted in Cantonese, most of them (73.1%) agreed to switch to English only when probed for alternative arrangements.

Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC said, “The EOC welcomes the Government’s latest effort in strengthening support for ethnic minorities by earmarking $500 million in the Budget and relaxing Chinese language requirements for 22 grades in the civil service. Yet we call on the Education Bureau to step up its support for and monitoring of kindergartens in ensuring that their admission practices are discrimination-free, and to enhance its incentive mechanisms by covering kindergartens with less than eight NCS students. We also encourage kindergarten staff and administrators to review and refine admission policies based on our Easy Guide on Promoting Racial Equality in Schools: Kindergarten Admission. These are all important steps towards lifting ethnic minority children out of their disadvantaged position.” 

Indeed, as Prof Chan argued in an article published on 19 March in the South China Morning Post, the fact that one in every five ethnic minority households in Hong Kong lives below the poverty line – as announced in a government report last month – has to do with the scarcity of gainful employment, which in turn is predicated on access to good education and the acquisition of language skills from an early age. Only when Hong Kong begins to regard ethnic minorities as its assets, rather than a liability, and equip them with the resources they need, will we be able to retain our diverse talents and truly flourish as an international city.

Read the press release
Read Prof Chan’s article in the South China Morning Post
Read the EOC's Easy Guide on Promoting Racial Equality in Schools: Kindergarten Admission


  1. EOC gives legal assistance in sexual harassment case

EOC gives legal assistance in sexual harassment case On 16 March 2018, the EOC issued legal proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) in the District Court on behalf of a woman (Claimant) claiming that the Respondent, who managed the premises occupied by the Claimant at the material time, had sexually harassed her with sexual remarks.

Under the SDO, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours, and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where a reasonable person, taking all the circumstances into account, would have anticipated that the victim would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. The SDO applies to various areas of activity, including the disposal or management of premises. Claims of sexual harassment, in fact, have consistently accounted for over 40% of SDO-related complaints lodged with the EOC every year.

As the global #MeToo movement catches on fire, the EOC believes that everyone has a role to play in ensuring this burst of global concern is translated into sustained commitment to combating sexual harassment in every sector and on all levels despite, and especially in the face of, backlashes that dilute the suffering of the victims. Through bringing this case to Court, the EOC hopes to remind members of the public not to let slide any instance of sexual harassment, while fulfilling its mission to provide aggrieved persons with access to redress.

Read the press release
Make use of EOC's anti-sexual harassment resources


  1. LifeDriver Carman Yau shares inspiring story on overcoming disability, and the meaning of life and death

LifeDriver Carman Yau shares inspiring story on overcoming disability, and the meaning of life and deathLast Saturday, Carman YAU Ka-man, winner of Spirit of Hong Kong and LifeDriver, gave a heart-warming and thought-provoking interview for RTHK Radio 1’s programme, “YesWeCan” (我得你都得). Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Carman has defied expectations throughout her life. She graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong with a degree in psychology, worked with various NGOs to serve the local community, and went on to bring Death Café to Hong Kong, a gathering place for people from all walks of life to discuss and meditate on death – still a taboo in our conservative city. In the interview, she talked about overcoming hurdles at schools and the workplace, advocating for the adoption of new drugs in Hong Kong, leading a full life while embracing death, and much more. It will be broadcast on RTHK Radio 1 in two parts on 24 March and 31 March, 12:05am.

Fostering understanding of the lives and rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) has always been a focus of the EOC’s work. Since October last year, we have been showcasing on YouTube companies with PWDs in Hong Kong to promote an inclusive culture among employers at large. Under our “Employment Equality Project” which consists of a dedicated Facebook page and a regular programme on RTHK Radio 1 (1pm, every Sunday) called “Care for Disabled” (非常人物生活雜誌), we have also launched a writing competition to look for stories about people’s experience with or as PWDs. We are accepting submissions till 31 March 2018, so grab your chance to share your story!

Listen to “YesWeCan” on RTHK Radio 1 (in Cantonese)
Watch videos about inclusive employers on our YouTube channel
Learn more about the writing competition and submit your story
Like and follow the "Employment Equality Project" Facebook page
Listen to “Care for Disabled”on RTHK Radio 1 (in Cantonese)


  1. Students take to the stage to promote respect and equality

Students take to the stage to promote respect and equality Tickets to the finals of the inter-school competition under the Jockey Club Equal Opportunities Drama Project 2017/18 are now available at URBTIX! Teams from primary and secondary schools are all set to put on their best shows to promote values of love, respect and equality during 3-6 April (primary schools) and 7, 10-11 April (secondary schools) respectively. For those who can’t make it, the winners will receive awards and deliver their performance once again at Youth Square in Chai Wan on 25 May.

Organised by Prospects Theatre and sponsored by Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust since 2015, the three-year Drama Project supported by the EOC aims to nurture a sense of self-worth among the next generation through theatre and to impart values of equality and inclusion to the builders of our future. Aside from formal training sessions, summer camps and competitions, the project presents talks and workshops about anti-discrimination and equal opportunity as well.

Buy tickets at URBTIX now
About Prospects Theatre (in Chinese only)


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.