The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met on 13 September 2012 (Thursday) at the 98th EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business.
In reviewing the follow-up actions on the Formal Investigation on Accessibility, Members learnt that the Government had already completed 99.3% of the Class A (priority) items (3041 in total) by 30 June. The remaining items would also be completed shortly. Separately, the LINK had commenced a five-year programme titled Assets Enhancement Initiatives to improve the barrier-free facilities in 160 sites. Enhancement works had commenced in 73 sites whereby works in 25 sites had been completed by the end of August 2012. The LINK would start improvement works in another 12 sites in the coming six months. Priority items for this enhancement programme were tactile guide paths, accessible service counters, accessible toilets, visual fire alarm system, accessible parking space, Braille maps and signage, followed by features involving structural or design changes, such as accessible lifts, automatic doors, ramps, etc.
The Commission reviewed the work of the EOC in the first six months of 2012. Members were pleased to note that the Commission had upgraded its operational efficiency and effectiveness. The EOC continued to identify social and political issues and provided quick response to discriminatory acts. From January to August 2012, the Commission conducted self-initiated investigations for 74 cases which included inaccessible facilities, discriminatory recruitment practices, and vilifying and harassing remarks on race and persons with a disability. The Commission also helped to resolve hurdles encountered by persons with visual impairment in accessing voters’ information in the Registration and Electoral Office’s website.
Members noted that in the first six months of 2012, around 50% of the ‘successful conciliated cases’ were settled under the fast-track case handling arrangement. In light of investigation results, the EOC wrote to the relevant Government departments, transport operators and individual owners’ incorporations to advise them on practices that might not be in breach of the anti-discrimination laws but could be improved for the betterment of situations of persons with mobility problems.
The EOC also proactively identified systemic issues that bore implications on equal opportunities and provided policy inputs to the legislature. The Commission submitted to the various LegCo Panels its views and comments on issues in relation to the mainstreaming of universal design concept, retrospective improvement to the built environment, and enhancement of community mental health services.
Members also discussed the preparation work of the EOC Forum to be held on 29 September 2012. The Forum would be a platform for the EOC Board to highlight the EOC’s past performance and introduce new directions and initiatives to the public.
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Equal Opportunities Commission
13 September 2012