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The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress

17/12/2015

Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met on 17 December 2015 (Thursday) at the 112th EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business.

At the EOC meeting today, Members noted the progress of various research projects. Taking into account the rapidly aging population in Hong Kong and the concerns over retirement age and security, the EOC started the “Exploratory Study on Age Discrimination in Employment” in June of last year to provide an overview of the situation. The research result is scheduled to be announced in January next year.

The EOC also commissioned the Gender Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct the “Study on Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status” in May 2014. The research team has completed data analysis and presented major findings of the study to the Members during the EOC meeting today. The report is scheduled to be released early next year.

The work progress of the Public Consultation on the Discrimination Law Review was reported during the meeting. The EOC has completed the process of analyzing the approximately 125,000 responses received and is in the process of drafting the report and the submissions to Government. The Commission is aiming to publish a report on the review in the first quarter of 2016 and to submit a report on the Commission’s recommendations to the Government.

EOC Members were pleased to note that the EOC Annual Forum 2015 had been successfully held on 24 November 2015 with an attendance of about 300 participants. Similar to the previous annual forums, the objectives of the EOC Annual Forum 2015 were to enable stakeholders and the public to better understand the EOC’s work and obtain their feedback. From the questionnaires completed by participants, 90% considered that the Forum could enhance communication of the Commission with stakeholders and members of the public; and 97% supported the EOC to hold similar forums in the future to enhance communication with and obtain feedback from stakeholder groups.

Brief reports from the Commission’s four Committees were discussed, charting the progress of various aspects of the EOC’s work in this quarter. Regarding the publicity and public education programmes, new TV and radio APIs (Announcement of Public Interest) on the enhanced protection from sexual harassment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance began their broadcast on various channels of TV and radio stations from late November 2015. The APIs are available in Cantonese, English, and Putonghua, and are also available for public viewing on the EOC website and EOC YouTube Channel.

Given the importance of instilling the values of equal opportunities and inclusion in children, the EOC has engaged three local theatrical troupes to stage plays and puppet shows on equal opportunities and diversity issues at schools. In the last fiscal year, the troupes performed for 69,729 students and achieved positive feedback. On average, 99% of the schools found the plays to be “good” or “very good”, and felt that the performances were interesting, educational and meaningful.

The EOC’s Annual Report and Factsheet 2014/15 have been published and are now available, both in hard copy and on the EOC website. With the theme “Equality for the Future,” these publications offer insights into the EOC’s work and initiatives over the past year, as well as outline the Commission’s vision for the landscape of equal opportunities for the years to come. In the Chairperson’s Message in the Annual Report, Dr. York CHOW, noted that, “As we look to our equality landscape for the future, it is important to bear in mind that rights are not static, but are constantly evolving as our society moves forward and we evolve as people. It is imperative for Hong Kong to comprehend these changes, and prepare ourselves to approach them.” The above publications have been uploaded onto the EOC website to facilitate convenient viewing by members of the public.

 

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For media enquiries, please contact Ms. Natalie WU at 2106-2124.

Equal Opportunities Commission
17 December 2015

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