Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 278

IDERD 2022 - United Against Racism

Racial inclusion shouldn’t be a slogan, writes EOC Chairperson on IDERD

In honour of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March), the EOC hosted a panel discussion on 23 March and ran a social media campaign this month to promote racial diversity and inclusion. EOC Chairperson Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin also contributed articles to am730, Hong Kong Free Press and Inmedia.net, urging all sectors in society to work together to remove systemic barriers in education, employment and access to services faced by non-ethnic Chinese communities in Hong Kong.

“In my interactions with people, it surprises me to find quite a number of Hong Kong people who have never interacted with anyone from other racial communities. They have never had a conversation with anyone unlike themselves,” wrote Mr Chu. “This is especially surprising given Hong Kong’s long history of diversity.”

This lack of exchange can lead to bias, prejudice and insensitivity in policy-making. As Mr Chu stressed, “every policy and guideline must be assessed through a racial equality and accessibility lens.” 

In particular, there is an urgent need to review the effectiveness of existing policy support for students learning Chinese as second language. Mr Chu wrote, “It is inexcusable that they spend their entire schooling years in local schools and yet come out without adequate fluency in Chinese, especially reading and writing. Not only does this result in their not being able to pursue meaningful careers and opting for second-best or worse choices, it also means they cannot participate in many policy discussions with the mainstream public.  The EOC, along with NGOs, has been pushing the Government for a much-overdue revamp of the education system for years and we still do not see desirable results.” 

Another issue of concern is how the playing field in employment can be levelled for people from different ethnic backgrounds. In a recent submission to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the EOC recommended various ways the Government can take a stronger lead in promoting equal employment opportunity for non-ethnic Chinese communities.

An example would be the creation of trainee positions across the civil service for fresh university graduates from non-ethnic Chinese (NEC) backgrounds as a form of positive action. Reference can be made to initiatives that have proven to be a success, such as Project Gemstone run by the Yau Tsim Police District and the Internship Programme for NEC University Students under the Civil Service Bureau.

Learn more by clicking the links below.