Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

"Equal Opportunities Diversity Project": The EOC and RTHK Radio 2 Jointly Organise Event to Celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2016


To raise public awareness on racial equality in Hong Kong and to promote the message of equal opportunities, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 2 jointly organised a public event today (13 March 2016) in celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) 2016 at Discovery Park in Tsuen Wan.

Officiating at the launch ceremony was the Guest of Honour, Dr. the Hon KO Wing-man, BBS, JP, Secretary for Food and Health, HKSAR. Also joining the ceremony were Prof. John LEONG Chi-yan, Chairman of the Hospital Authority and Mr. CHUA Hoi-wai, Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service. Dr. York CHOW, GBS, JP, Chairperson of the EOC and Ms Lisa LIU Lai-yee, Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Programme) represented the co-organisers in the ceremony.

Dr. York CHOW, Chairperson of the EOC, said, “This is the fourth year running that the Equal Opportunities Commission is organising an event to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which was first declared by the United Nations in 1966, making this year the 50th anniversary of this special day. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the EOC, which came into operation in 1996. We hope that today’s event, which brought together different sectors of the community, including the education, medical and social welfare sectors, as well as representatives from the Government, NGOs and consular corps, would provide a platform for communication and collaboration, mobilising cross-sector effort to advance racial equality in Hong Kong.”

“Indeed, for the last 20 years, the EOC has been working tirelessly with different sectors and communities to promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination in Hong Kong through research, advocacy, publicity and public education,” Dr Chow continued. “One of the statutory duties of the EOC is to keep the anti-discrimination legislation in review, to ensure that they cater to the changing needs and demands of society, and provide effective protection against discrimination. For this reason, the EOC launched the Discrimination Law Review public consultation in 2014 to seek the public’s views on how we may modernise the anti-discrimination ordinances, and close the loopholes in the legislation. For example, under the existing Race Discrimination Ordinance, there is no protection on the grounds of nationality, citizenship and residency status. Also, language discrimination in vocational training and education regarding the medium of instruction is permitted by way of exception under the Ordinance. These gaps prevented the EOC from handling related discrimination complaints.”

“Having thoroughly reviewed and analysed the public responses, the EOC has already completed the report and will soon announce our findings, including our recommendations on law reforms. We do believe that these reforms, when implemented, will take our city’s equality framework to the next level, give us stronger protection against systemic discrimination, and help us build a truly inclusive society,” Dr. Chow added.

“Indeed, we need stronger effort and commitment to stamping out the stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes that remain deeply entrenched in our society. Last year, the EOC set up an ‘Ethnic Minorities Unit’. Comprising multi-lingual staff of different ethnicities, the Unit reached out extensively to the ethnic minority communities and collaborated with different sectors, such as the banking and real estate sectors, on enhancing the cultural sensitivity of frontline staff through training and workshops. Moving forward, the Unit will continue to work with various parties, including the Government, to advance equal opportunities for Hong Kong’s ethnic minority communities,” remarked Dr. Chow.

Dr. Chow concluded: “There is no doubt that Hong Kong is standing at the crossroad of change. Our society is getting increasingly divisive, and xenophobia and intolerance on the rise. But let us remember the core values that once defined our city’s identity and success. Through the years, Hong Kong has enjoyed a reputation for being an open and free city with great cultural diversity. People and talents from all over the world – different nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds – have come to our city to look for opportunities. Many have made Hong Kong their home. In fact, many of our ethnic minorities were born here, with some families having been in Hong Kong for generations. They are all ‘Hongkongers’.”

“To facilitate the integration of the ethnic minorities and their equal participation in every aspect of life, we should strive to cater to their needs, such as ensuring our bilingual environment with the use of both Chinese and English, and providing interpretation services where needed. I am confident that notwithstanding the challenges facing us, as long as we stand together, and stick to our core values of inclusiveness, open-mindedness, mutual respect and equality, we shall create a better tomorrow for our community and future generations.”

Running from 2:30pm to 4:15pm, today’s event was attended by some 300 participants, including Consuls-General; representatives of Government bureaux and departments as well as non-governmental organisations; and ethnic minority community leaders and advocates. On top of speeches and sharing on issues relating to racial discrimination and equality, the audience enjoyed cultural and singing performances. The afternoon also saw the presentation of trophies and prizes to the winners of the EOC Micro Film Competition 2015.

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


Equal Opportunities Commission
13 March 2016