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Meeting between the Equal Opportunities Commission and Parents for The Family Association

09/09/2015


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) conducted a meeting with the Parents for The Family Association today (9 September 2015). Dr York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC, along with representatives of the Commission, explained to the Association the position of the EOC, and clarified the Association’s misunderstanding on the mission, work and position of the EOC, as well as remarks of the EOC Chairperson. In regard to the media statement issued by the Association, the EOC has the following response:

In addition to handling the complaints under the existing four anti-discrimination ordinances, the EOC has the statutory duty to conduct research on policies related to different discriminatory issues. The EOC’s mission is to ensure that people in society are protected from against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and age. To tie in with the work of the Government’s Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities and with due regard to the court judgement on the W case, the EOC launched the “Feasibility Study of Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status” (the “Study”) in May 2014. Besides this Study, the EOC also conducted research on other areas of discrimination, including the “Exploratory Study on Age Discrimination in Employment” in 2013, which findings will be announced before the end of 2015.

The five strategic priority work areas of the EOC were endorsed by the EOC Board back in 2013. These included:

(i) Discrimination Law Review (DLR)
(ii) Legal Protection for Sexual Minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI persons) from Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
(iii) Education and Employment Opportunities for Ethnic Minorities
(iv) Integrated Education for Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) and Its Implication on Employment Opportunities
(v) Adopting a Better and More Unified Definition of Disability in the Performance of Government Functions

The expenditure of the Study was also endorsed by the EOC Board, while the research projects funded under the EOC’s “Funding Programme of Research Projects on Equal Opportunities” were approved by the Policy & Research Committee in accordance with the established criteria. As such, it is incorrect to say that “the EOC Chairperson’s integrity is in doubt and that he is suspected to have overstepped his power to control the EOC”, as stated in the media statement of the Association.

In regard to the management of the EOC, the structural review of the organisation was conducted with due regard to the Commission’s past operational experiences and the evolving needs of society, so as to further enhance the services of the Commission. The revised organisational structure, which involved no additional public funding, was endorsed by the EOC Board and detailed in the submission by the EOC to the Legislative Council.

The EOC has all along strived to maintain a professional and committed working team that is dedicated to social justice, so as to deliver its public duties effectively and efficiently. Through continuous training and enhanced organisational structure, the EOC aims to strengthen its work. Where the contracts of certain staff members are not renewed, or staff members selected to go on retirement or leave the EOC, these are normal staff changes within an organisation. The EOC will identify suitable replacement through open recruitment to ensure that its services will not be affected.

The EOC is committed to building a diverse and inclusive society, and will continue to work closely with different sectors of the community on discussing and tackling issues of discrimination, so that everyone can enjoy equal opportunities.


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For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Sam HO at 2106-2187.

Equal Opportunities Commission
9 September 2015

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