Media Statement: About District Councillors Posting Notice outside their Office
In regard to the media statement by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) on 6 March 2020, which was issued in response to media enquiries about District Councillors reportedly putting up a notice outside their office saying “We do not serve blue ribbons” and “No blue ribbons and dogs allowed”, the EOC further issued today (10 March 2020) the following statement:
1. As of today, the EOC received close to 1,000 complaints and enquiries related to the notices by two District Councillors, which largely concerned dissatisfaction with the notices.
2. In respect of whether the notices violated the anti-discrimination ordinances, the EOC already pointed out clearly in its statement on 6 March 2020 that based on the information available, the content of the notices do not involve any of the grounds protected under the four anti-discrimination ordinances. EOC Chairperson Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin also stated in the statement that as public servants, District Councillors should serve all residents in their respective district, and should not refuse to serve any resident in the district.
3. While the discriminatory acts by the District Councillors were inappropriate, the EOC can only handle discrimination based on gender, pregnancy, marital status, disability, family status and race according to the existing anti-discrimination ordinances. Obviously the incident concerned does not fall under the scope of the ordinances, and hence there is no legal basis for the EOC to take follow-up action against these acts.
4. EOC Chairperson Mr Ricky Chu Man-kin reiterates, “The society maintains high expectations of the conduct of public servants including District Councillors, who should strive to serve citizens in their respective district, rather than refusing to serve any person in the district. The EOC opposes any sort of discriminatory behaviour, and wishes that all sectors in society will forgo their prejudice and avoid any acts or remarks that will fuel further division and conflicts of society.”
Equal Opportunities Commission
10 March 2020