Issue 200 ｜ 19/12/2018
New Year Wishes
The holiday season is approaching and we have great cause for celebrations, as our e-newsletter reached the 200th issue. Launched in June 2009, News from the EOC provides a platform for us to communicate the EOC’s latest initiatives and current trends of discrimination to stakeholders. We look forward to having you on our continuous journey to a fair and equal world, free from prejudice and discrimination. We also wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
Introduction of the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 into the Legislative Council
On 12 December 2018, the SAR Government introduced the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 into the Legislative Council for First and Second Reading. The long-awaited Bill was put forward more than two years after the EOC made recommendations to the Government in March 2016 on reforming the city’s anti-discrimination laws under the Discrimination Law Review (DLR). Out of the 73 recommendations, 27 being priority areas, made by the EOC, 8 amendments have been included in the Bill, spanning from prohibiting discrimination on the ground of breastfeeding and on imputed race to expanding the scope of harrassment protection, including providing protection from sexual, racial and disability harassment in common workplaces where there is no employment relationship.
EOC calls for co-operation of social media operator to combat online racism
Extremism, xenophobia and intolerance – these should have no place in a modern metropolis that prides itself as Asia’s world city. Yet these are happening in Hong Kong, and on the rise. As reported by several media outlets recently, the EOC has received an increased number of complaints about racially offensive and vilifying remarks on social media platforms, some targeting at NGOs that provide services for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Acting on the complaints, the EOC requested a social media operator to provide data on the users so that the Commission could follow up and investigate into the complaints.
EOC publishes 2017/18 Annual Report
The 2017/18 Annual Report of the EOC has been released, and was tabled at the Legislative Council on 12 December 2018. Carrying the theme “Transforming for a Better Future”, the report summarises the key initiatives and activities of the Commission during 2017/18, notably the review of the complaint-handling process and the governance review, that served to enhance the accountability and quality of the EOC’s services, while advancing equal opportunities for marginalised groups. As Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, EOC Chairperson put it in the report, “We are aware that in order to bring about meaningful transformation, often times we must start by reinventing ourselves... The past year was about transforming ourselves to put up a stronger fight and break new ground... Our long-term vision is for the EOC to become a more robust enforcer of the anti-discrimination laws and a more impactful influencer on public policy.”
EOC reaches out to businesses at HKTDC’s SmartBiz Expo 2018
To promote understanding of the advantages of fostering an inclusive workplace to enterprises, the EOC participated again in Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s SmartBiz Expo, which was held from 5 to 7 December at Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre. The EOC promoted the messages of “Want a win-win employment relationship? An equal opportunities workplace can help you” and “An equal opportunities workplace relies on the contributions of employers and employees” during the three-day Expo. Additionally, over 4,300 promotional publications and 2,900 souvenirs were distributed to Expo visitors. The EOC collected positive feedback from the attendees, with over 96% of the questionnaire respondents rating the EOC booth “very good” or “good”, along with compliments received on the booth’s design as well as the helpfulness of EOC staff members.