1. EOC expresses concern over insensitive acts towards minorities amid recent social unrest

Photo of a memo sticker with the words “everyone matters” written on it On 11 October 2019, the EOC issued a statement to express concern over various acts that transpired during the ongoing anti-extradition bill saga, as they reflect a serious insensitivity towards disadvantaged communities, including persons with disabilities (PWDs) and ethnic minorities (EMs).

When elevators at MTR stations are damaged, wheelchair users and other people with mobility difficulties would not be able to reach the platform and board the train; when traffic lights are broken and stop emitting sound signals, people with visual impairment cannot cross the road independently. Indeed, the EOC staunchly opposes any act that may deprive PWDs of their commuting and other basic rights, or worse, put their safety at risk.

The EOC is also alerted to incidents where the phrase “Allah is the Greatest” was painted in Arabic on some roads. As vehicles may run over and leave stains on the words, it could come across as disrespectful, offensive and insulting to members of the Muslim community. The same insensitivity underlies some of the sweeping generalisations about EMs that have circulated recently, such as the remark that EMs would make better security staff because they are less likely to be provoked by Cantonese swear words.

As much as one is entitled to express an opinion or pursue a goal, the fundamental rights and wellbeing of marginalised communities should never be compromised in the process. The EOC calls on all parties to show greater respect and empathy towards others, and to appreciate the diversity that makes Hong Kong the unique and vibrant place it is.

Read the full statement


  1. EOC and RTHK co-host event to champion equal opportunities for PWDs

Officiating guests, representatives of supporting organsiations and performing artists pose for a group photo at the event.Can people with visual impairment cook on their own? What do raincoats for people on a wheelchair look like? How can homes be better designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities (PWDs)?

These are some of the fascinating questions answered at a public education event on 13 October 2019, jointly organised by the EOC and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to promote inclusion of PWDs. Featuring experience-sharing sessions by PWDs and performances by local singers, it marked the highlight of the EOC’s yearlong campaign, “Embracing Social Inclusion Project”, which seeks to raise awareness of disability rights and accessibility issues through radio dramas, segments and interviews broadcast across three programmes on RTHK Radio 1, namely “Care for Disabled”, “Yes We Can” and “Happy Daily”.

“The Disability Discrimination Ordinance has been in place in Hong Kong for more than 20 years. Although the protection of the rights of PWDs has improved, they still face different problems in all aspects of life. In particular, structural and attitudinal barriers often restrict PWDs from getting gainful employment on an equal basis with others,” said EOC Chairperson, Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin in his welcome address. “Ensuring equal employment opportunities for PWDs requires a comprehensive approach involving employers to recognise the benefits of inclusive policies and a barrier-free workplace, and to take the lead in dismantling myths and misconceptions around PWDs.”

Mr Chu was joined at the event by other officiating guests, including The Hon Patrick NIP Tak-kuen, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs; Ms CHAN Man-kuen, Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Programmes) of RTHK; Mr Benny CHEUNG Wai-leung, Chairman of The Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities; and Ms Shirley LOO, EOC Member and Convenor of the EOC’s Community Participation and Publicity Committee. Representatives of the project’s 22 supporting organisations, along with other rehabilitation groups and EOC Members, also showed up to celebrate the message of inclusion.

Read the press release
Watch the video of the event on Facebook
Listen to past episodes of the radio programmes


  1. EOC gives legal assistance in pregnancy and family status discrimination case

Photo of a gavelOn 23 October 2019, the EOC issued legal proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) in the District Court, on behalf of a woman (the Claimant) who previously worked for a company (the Respondent) as a cashier.

The Claimant claimed that the Respondent discriminated against her on the ground of her pregnancy by not paying her an annual bonus after being informed of her pregnancy. Further, the Claimant was dismissed by the Respondent on the ground of her pregnancy and/or her family status (i.e. her responsibility of taking care of her two sons who were about one-year old and a newborn respectively).

Pregnancy discrimination means treating a woman less favourably because of her pregnancy. The SDO protects women from pregnancy discrimination in areas such as employment and the provision of goods, services or facilities. Under the SDO, it is unlawful for an employer to subject a woman to a disadvantage or dismiss her on the ground of her pregnancy.

Under the FSDO, it is unlawful to discriminate a person on the ground of family status, which refers to the status of being responsible for the care of an immediate family member. An immediate family member, in relation to a person, means someone who is related to the person concerned by blood, marriage, adoption or affinity. The areas of activities covered by the FSDO are the same as those under the SDO.

By taking the case to court, the EOC hopes to raise public awareness of the rights of pregnant workers, and to remind employers that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their pregnancy and/or family status.

Read the press release


  1. EOC speaks out against sexual harassment at the 7th Asian Conference on Sexuality Education

EOC staff set up a booth to explain its study on sexual harassment at local universities during the 7th Asian Sexuality Education ConferenceConsent, bodily autonomy, gender and sexual diversity... these are crucial concepts that would help a person recognise when a certain act crosses a line and becomes sexual harassment, which is why they need to be introduced to children from a young age.

Indeed, the EOC has always been conscious of the close connection between sexuality education and the fight against sexual harassment. In its latest effort to drive conversations about the issue, the EOC distributed leaflets and delivered a poster presentation during the 7th Asian Conference on Sexuality Education on 18-19 October 2019, co-organised by The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong and the Department of Special Education and Counselling of The Education University of Hong Kong. The presentation was based on the EOC’s study, Break the Silence: Territory-wide Study on Sexual Harassment of University Students in Hong Kong, released in January 2019. Staff from the EOC also set up a booth and explained to the attendees the study’s findings – almost one in four students reportedly experienced sexual harassment within the 12 months prior to the survey, and yet only 2.5 % of the victims lodged a complaint with their university – as well as the follow-up actions the Commission has taken to date, such as meeting with university management to discuss preventive measures.

Part of the problem stems from misconceptions about sex and gender roles, developed as early as in primary school. Just last month, the EOC made a submission to the Task Force on Review of School Curriculum of the Education Bureau, laying out recommendations for a comprehensive overhaul of sexuality education in Hong Kong. The suggestions incorporated many of the insights shared by participants of a roundtable the EOC co-organised with Lee Hysan Foundation in May 2019, who include lawmakers, scholars, school principals, teachers and NGO representatives, among other stakeholders. For details, please click the link below.

Read the submission
More on Break the Silence: Territory-wide Study on Sexual Harassment of University Students in Hong Kong


  1. Watch videos about mental health recovery and share your thoughts to win a prize

Image of a little boy listening to music with a headphone and smiling with a content face. The background is split into bright yellow on the left and light blue on the right. As part of the annual “Mental Health Month” campaign organised by rehabilitation groups and public bodies, members of the public are now invited to take part in a writing competition – simply watch one of the videos on the programme’s YouTube page where people formerly affected by mental health problems open up about their road to recovery, put your reflections into words, and submit your piece online by 5pm, 1 November 2019 (Friday).

The competition has Primary, Secondary and Open Divisions. Participants will have the chance to win cash coupons worth up to HK$1,000. Find out more with the links below. For enquiries, please contact Ms Wong of the Christian Family Service Centre at 3521 1611.

Learn the T&C and apply online (Chinese only)
Watch the YouTube videos (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.