The EOC Promotes Equality and Inclusion at the 8th Session of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) will advocate for the advancement of equal rights in the 8th session of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee), to be convened from 17 to 28 September 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. The EOC will present its observations concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Hong Kong and propose alternative views on enhancing the full realization of their rights and social integration.
“The EOC is committed to eliminating disability discrimination and advancing the equal opportunity of all people, with and without disability, to compete on a level playing field,” said Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, the EOC Chairperson. “We have been an active advocate for a rights-based approach to disability issues, and we will continue to stress the importance of mainstreaming the needs of people with disability in government policies and practices, as well as in the private sector.”
“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities aims at protecting the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and basic freedoms of persons with disabilities. We expect the Government to take proactive steps to catch up to international best practices and enable people with disability to fully participate in society. We urge that equal opportunity considerations are fully incorporated at all stages of the policy formulation and implementation process,” said Mr. Lam.
The EOC made a number of recommendations in its submission http://www.eoc.org.hk/EOC/Upload/crpd/Sep2012/EOC_Submission_E.pdf to the Committee for the HKSAR Government’s action. They include:
- Urging the Government and the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee to involve people with disability and their representative organizations in relevant decision-making processes;
- Amending the Mental Health Ordinance to render it in line with the global trend of deinstitutionalization, normalization and integration of people with mental illness;
- Expanding community support services for people with mental illness, including setting up a Mental Health Commission;
- Adopting a comprehensive and community-based approach in order to address the specific needs of people with disability;
- Improving barrier-free access to premises, information and communication technology, and public transport;
- Providing more resources to schools and teachers to address the requirements of students with special education needs; and
- Establishing a review mechanism for the outcome of the productivity assessment for people with disability under the Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO).
EOC Member, Mr. Nelson YIP Siu-hong, who represents the Commission in attending the UN session in Geneva, said, “Much remains to be done in Hong Kong to facilitate the full participation of people with disability in everyday life. In fact, doing so would be to the benefit of all, for it is imperative that the talents of people with disability are not laid to waste in this age of globalized competition.”
“By presenting our views to the United Nations Committee, the EOC hopes to urge the Hong Kong Government to take concrete action to ensure that people with disability have equal rights and opportunities to pursue their aspirations,” added Mr. Yip.
Media enquiries: Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel : 2106-2226)
Equal Opportunities Commission
14 September 2012