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The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)’s response to the Policy Address 2017

19/01/2017

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (19 January 2017) welcomes the new initiatives to advance equal opportunities in the Policy Address 2017. In the Chapter relating to Human Rights in the Policy Agenda 2017, it highlights the agenda of initiating discussion with the LegCo on the prioritized recommendations under the Discrimination Law Review as proposed by the Equal Opportunities Commission and promoting a culture of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect in the community through a series of measures.

The EOC Chairperson, Prof. Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, said “Stakeholders from various sectors were supportive of the EOC’s initiatives to follow up with the Government on implementing recommendations of the Discrimination Law Review put forth in March 2016. I am glad to know the affirmative response from the Government, and look forward to actively participating in the discussion among the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB), stakeholders and LegCo on the prioritized recommendations under the Discrimination Law Review.”

To promote a culture of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect in the community, it highlights that the Government will follow-up on the measures below:

• providing training and resources for personnel in specific fields to enhance their knowledge of and sensitivity towards sexual minorities;

• drawing up a charter on non-discrimination of sexual minorities for voluntary adoption by relevant organizations and individuals;

• enhancing public education and publicity to promote the message of non-discrimination;

• reviewing and reinforcing the relevant support services; and

• conducting further study on the experience of other jurisdictions in implementing anti-discrimination measures to provide a basis for future consultations.

The EOC welcomes the above new initiatives and look forward to work with the Government to advance equal opportunities for all.

Regarding Law Reform Proposals listed in the Policy Agenda, the EOC welcomes the initiative on assisting the high level Inter-departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition, chaired by the Secretary for Justice, in undertaking a detailed study on possible legislation to deal with various aspects of gender recognition in the light of the observations made in the judgement of the Court of Final Appeal in the W Case (FACV 4/2012), and in conducting a public consultation on the first part of the study on gender recognition issues. Upon completion of the first part of the study, the Working Group will move to the next stage of the study concerning post recognition issues. The EOC has made detailed submissions to the Government on this issue, calling for the introduction of gender recognition legislation, and for an end of the policy requiring genital sex reassignment surgery to change gender.

There are other measures proposed in the Policy Address 2017 to support people with disabilities, including:

• Setting up a standing advisory committee to review and follow up the development of mental health services in the light of the recommendations of the Review Committee on Mental Health

• Injecting additional funding of $100 million for the Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities through Small Enterprises Project for directly creating more employment opportunities for persons with disabilities

• Converting the Pilot Scheme on On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services, upon its conclusion, into a regular government subsidy programme, under which 7,000 service places will be provided in phases

“It is encouraging that the Government has committed to long-term initiatives in addressing the challenges faced by people with disabilities in different aspects of daily life.” said Prof. CHAN, “We hope that these initiatives will be timely implemented.”


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

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Equal Opportunities Commission
19 January 2017
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