The EOC Organised the “Employment Equality Project” to Promote Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
In order to enhance employment opportunities for and social inclusion of people with disabilities (PWDs) and promote public understanding of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 1 organised a public event titled “Employment Equality Project” at Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre today (19 May 2018).
Since July 2017, the EOC and RTHK Radio 1 have been co-organising the year-long “Employment Equality Project”, which aims at enhancing public understanding of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance through a series of activities, including the weekly radio drama series broadcast in the radio programme “Care For Disabled”, interviews with employers of PWDs and a writing competition. The project was supported by 22 rehabilitation organisations (please refer to the Appendix for the list of supporting organisations), with today’s public education event as a highlight. Officiating guests at the Opening Ceremony includes Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC; The Hon SHIU Ka-chun, Chairperson of the Legislative Council Panel on Welfare Services; Mr David Leung, Commissioner for Rehabilitation; Mr David HO Chung-yan, Head of RTHK Radio 1 and Ms Teresa MO, Best Actress Winner at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards.
Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC, said in his opening remarks, “The Employment Equality Project is one of EOC’s territory-wide promotion activities this year. The project was generously supported by 22 rehabilitation organisations. We hope that different sectors can join hands together in creating an inclusive society for people with disabilities. Just as misunderstanding leads to prejudice, discrimination feeds fears. When everyone is willing to eliminate negative labels, stereotypes and biases, we would be able to create a discrimination-free, caring and inclusive society. Today’s event is indeed a great opportunity for rehabilitation organisations to get together to promote messages of integration of PWDs into society.”
The Disability Discrimination Ordinance has been in force for 22 years since 1996, while the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was extended to Hong Kong in 2008. The Convention aims at ensuring that all people with disabilities could fully and equally enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedom, as well as enhancing respect for people with disabilities. Since the application of the Convention to Hong Kong has been in force for almost 10 years, members of the public have enhanced their understanding of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and acceptance of equal opportunity concepts has also improved significantly.
Though the public is aware that the Disability Discrimination Ordinance protects all people from discrimination on the grounds of disability, PWDs have yet to integrate fully into society. From 2015 to 2017, the EOC received a total of 748 complaints related to disability discrimination, with 459 and 289 complaints in the employment and non-employment fields respectively. Indeed, PWDs still face many challenges in their daily life: for example, no flashing fire alarms are installed in some of the public housing flats where people with hearing impairment live; usage of the Police’s emergency SMS services for people with hearing impairment remains low; accessible and barrier-free facilities are still missing in some wet markets and shopping malls because of fragmentation of land ownership and responsibility for maintenance. In light of these issues, the EOC has been facilitating conciliation and discussion between related government departments and service providers to explore possible solutions. The EOC will continue its work in eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities through public education, research, training and self-initiated investigation.
About 200 participants attended the event today, including members of the Legislative Council, government officials and representatives from supporting and non-governmental organisations. Guests from rehabilitation groups were also present to deliver cultural performances and sharing sessions on social inclusion. The afternoon also saw the presentation of trophies and prizes to the winners of the “Writing Competition of the Employment Equality Project”.
Equal Opportunities Commission
19 May 2018
Group photo with officiating guests and representatives from supporting organizations at the Launch Ceremony of the Employment Equality Project jointly organized by the EOC and RTHK 1
Group photo with participants of the Employment Equality Project jointly organized by the EOC and RTHK 1
Appendix: List of Supporting Organisations of the Employment Equality Project
|Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service|
|Direction Association for the Handicapped|
|Haven of Hope Christian Service|
|Heep Hong Society|
|Hong Chi Association|
|Hong Kong Association of the Deaf|
|Hong Kong Blind Union|
|Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth|
|Hong Kong PHAB Association|
|Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power|
|Lutheran School for the Deaf|
|New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association|
|Rehabilitation Alliance Hong Kong|
|The Hong Kong Council of Social Service|
|The Hong Kong Joint Council of Parents of the Mentally Handicapped|
|The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation|
|The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf|
|The Hong Kong Society for the Blind|
|The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong|