Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 177


EOC responds to the Consultation Paper on Gender Recognition

In recent years, the rights of transgender people, who continue to be marginalised and discriminated against, have raised concern in the community. At present, Hong Kong does not even have a gender recognition scheme.

In June 2017, the Inter-departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition (IWG) published the Consultation Paper on Gender Recognition, inviting views on gender recognition in Hong Kong by 31 December 2017. In response, the EOC made a submission to express support for comprehensive gender recognition legislation, and legislation against discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status.

Some of the major recommendations in the EOC’s submission include: The existing requirement for completion of sex re-assignment surgery to change gender, which is considered inhumane by international standard, should be removed; and there should be no requirement for medical diagnosis or real-life test, in line with the international development of depathologisation of transgenderism by the World Health Organization and other bodies. To prevent possible abuse of the system, a statutory declaration may be required from a medical practitioner or psychologist and/or the person concerned.

EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming said: “Various international human rights organisations and parties, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, have expressed concerns about the lack of arrangements for granting legal recognition of transgender people’s identities in Member States, which infringes on transgender people’s right to privacy and right to recognition as a person before the law. As such, the EOC believes that the consultation by the IWG should not be on whether a gender recognition scheme should be introduced in Hong Kong, but rather what kind of gender recognition scheme should be adopted.”

To read the full submission and the executive summary, please visit the EOC website.