The EOC Holds Seminar on Formulation of Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy in Sports Sector
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) organised today (25 September 2015) a Seminar on Formulation of Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy in Sports Sector, in collaboration with the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) and supported by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). This seminar aimed to promote the message of preventing sexual harassment to the sports sector, and to equip the organisations concerned with the skills to formulate their own policy on preventing sexual harassment and handle related complaints.
Dr. York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC said, “The EOC holds great concerns about sexual harassment in different sectors, and has made combating sexual harassment one of our strategic priority work areas. In May this year, the EOC announced the findings of the ‘Questionnaire Survey on Sexual Harassment for the Sports Sector’, which showed that almost 90% of the responding national sports associations or NSAs had not formulated an anti-sexual harassment policy. In view of this, the EOC organised this seminar to encourage the sports sector to take active measures for preventing sexual harassment. We are very pleased to have the support of the SF&OC and the LCSD, and the active participation of the NSAs, which underlined the commitment of the sports sector to combating sexual harassment.”
Attending the seminar today were The Hon. LAU Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR); Mr. Timothy T.T. FOK, President of SF&OC; Ms Michelle LI Mei-sheung, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services; Mr. Ronnie M. C. WONG, Honorary Secretary General of SF&OC; and Dr. York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC. They were joined by about 120 representatives and staff members of the NSAs and their affiliated clubs.
During the seminar, Mr. Ronnie M.C. WONG, Honorary Secretary General of SF&OC gave a talk on “Respect for Everybody – Handling Sexual Harassment in Sports”. In addition, Dr. Ferrick CHU, Head of Policy, Research & Training of the EOC and Mr. CHONG Yiu-kwong, Deputy Convenor of the EOC’s Working Group on Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign explained the definition of sexual harassment and the related legal provisions, as well as ways of formulating an effective anti-sexual harassment policy respectively. Representatives from the sports sector also shared their experiences in formulating anti-sexual harassment policies and handling related complaints. Among them were Dr. Trisha LEAHY, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Sports Institute and EOC Member; Mrs. Kitty SIU, Assistant Manager of Lady Members’ Section and Assistant Convenor of the Publication Committee of South China Athletic Association; Mr. TAM Sau-sum, Hon. General Secretary of South China Athletic Association; and Mr. Sam W.S. WONG, Executive Director of Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China.
The Hon. LAU Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs said that the SAR Government has been striving to promote sports development in Hong Kong, and encourage greater participation in sports among the community; and in promoting sports, the Government not only endeavours to provide superb facilities and hardware for use by the public, but also attaches importance in creating an even safer and mutually respectful environment for athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and parents. Mr. Lau said that as Hong Kong seeks for greater integration with the international sports development, with many of the city’s athletes reaching world standards, the sports sector must also continuously enhance their management and governance. Today’s seminar therefore provides an opportunity for exchange between veterans of the sports sector, so that they can learn from each other and further excel in their governance.
Mr. Timothy T.T. FOK, President of SF&OC said: “The Olympic Spirit advocates that everyone has the right to practise sports free from sexual harassment. Not only is sexual harassment a violation of human rights, but it is also detrimental to the health of individuals and teams. As members of the sports sector, we all have the responsibility to prevent sexual harassment from happening and create a safe environment where everyone can take part in sports activities with dignity and mutual respect. The SF&OC and the NSAs are in charge of leading local sports development and acting as a gatekeeper. We deeply appreciate the importance of preventing sexual harassment in the sports sector.”
Apart from organising this seminar, the EOC has also developed a “Framework for Sexual Harassment Policy in Sports Organisations” to help sports organisations formulate their own anti-sexual harassment policy and complaint-handling mechanism. Similar to the frameworks for sexual harassment policies for the education and the business sectors prepared by the EOC in the past, this Framework for the sports sector has listed out the important elements of preventing sexual harassment. The NSAs and their affiliated clubs can use the Framework as a checklist to check against their adopted or upcoming sexual harassment policy, and consider whether any further improvements are needed. The EOC will upload the Framework onto its website for reference by the sports sector.
Dr. York Chow concluded, “In the past few years, the EOC has achieved considerable progress in the promotion of preventing sexual harassment to the education sector. We are eager to expand our work to the sports sector. By collaborating with different NSAs, we will promote the importance of preventing sexual harassment and formulating a clear and comprehensive policy on the prevention of sexual harassment. This will not only help NSAs alleviate their legal responsibility as an employer and a service provider, but more importantly, it will enable everyone to work or take part in sports activities in a safe, fair and mutually respectful environment free from sexual harassment, which in turn will help enhance our mental and physical health.”
For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Sam HO at 2106-2187.
Equal Opportunities Commission
25 September 2015