The EOC presents an alternative report at the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Representatives of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) attended the 52nd Session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland (the Committee) and submitted an alternative report to the Committee on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the ICESCR) to enhance the full realization of the economic, social and cultural rights of persons in Hong Kong.
Dr. John TSE Wing-ling, Convenor of the EOC’s Policy and Research Committee, made a summarized presentation of the EOC’s submission in today’s (5 May 2014) morning session. He said, “The EOC’s alternative report focuses on those Articles in the ICESCR which are directly related to the discrimination ordinances under its remit of powers including progressive realization of the rights recognized in the ICESCR, focusing on equal rights of men and women, right to enjoy just and favourable conditions of work, right to health and right to education.”
In response to ICECSR Members’ questions on the distinction between the EOC and Human Rights Commission (HRC) and whether there is a need for a HRC in Hong Kong, Dr. TSE responded, “The EOC believes that a single statutory platform with a broad mandate covering all international human rights standards accepted by Hong Kong should be established. The current arrangement of having different statutory bodies to investigate and monitor the violations of specific areas of human rights fails to provide comprehensive protection of all ICESCR rights.” He urged the HKSAR Government to consider establishing a Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong.
In his presentation, Dr. TSE also raised the needs of outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and outlawing discrimination on the ground of age in Hong Kong.
To conclude the presentation, Dr. TSE emphasized the importance of mainstreaming equal opportunity values in formulating public policies. “The HKSAR Government should uphold and prioritize equal opportunity perspectives while deciding on policies concerning gender, disability, race and other areas.” Dr. TSE emphasized. “In this regard, the Government should consider developing and institutionalizing the use of an equal opportunities (EO) checklist, so that bureaux and departments will address the EO issues and cater for the needs of disadvantaged and minority groups in society.”
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Equal Opportunities Commission
5 May 2014
Dr. John TSE Wing-ling (left), Convenor of the Policy and Research Committee of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and Dr. Ferrick CHU Chung-man, Head of Policy & Research of the EOC, attended a meeting of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on 5 May 2014, and submitted a related alternative report to the Committee.