Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 191


EOC makes submission to the 96th Session of CERD

The EOC submitted its views to the 96th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on the Third Report of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) last month, ahead of the hearings on 10 and 13 August to be conducted by CERD in Geneva to assess the implementation of ICERD in Hong Kong.

In its submission, the EOC highlighted a range of persistent obstacles to racial equality and inclusion in Hong Kong, from the concentration of ethnic minority students in a small number of schools (which gravely affects their integration into mainstream society) and the lack of a full, standardised set of textbooks for learning Chinese as a second language to unregulated hate speech across social media, unjustifiable Chinese proficiency requirements in the job market, and limtiations with the Race Discrimination Ordinance (which currently does not apply to the exercise of Government functions and powers).

In the long run, there is a need for a central department or bureau in the Government that proactively coordinates all policies relating to minorities, instead of having separate departments answer to their needs in a fragmented, haphazard and inconsistent manner, as is currently the case. As a statutory body committed to creating a pluralistic and inclusive society, the EOC will continue to monitor and work closely with the Government in eliminating systemic discrimination and empowering ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.