Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 200


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.

Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC said, “The EOC welcomes the introduction of the Bill into the Legislative Council. We believe there is a need for the law reforms to fill the existing gaps in discrimination protection and to harmonise the laws. We look forward to continuing the discussion with the Government on the implementation of the proposed amendments and other priority recommendations of our DLR, with a view to addressing existing inequalities and modernising the anti-discrimination laws in Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, the EOC is in the process of preparing comprehensive guidance on the amendments, and will conduct public education programmes to help all relevant stakeholders understand the effect of the new provisions when they come into force.