EOC Welcomes the Release of the Public Consultation Report on Proposed Introduction of Offences of Voyeurism, Intimate Prying and Non-consensual Photography of Intimate Parts and Related Offences by the Security Bureau
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (8 January 2021) welcomes the release of the Public Consultation Report on Proposed Introduction of Offences of Voyeurism, Intimate Prying and Non-consensual Photography of Intimate Parts and Related Offences by the Security Bureau. The EOC is pleased that the Government is in parallel working on the drafting of the proposed amendment bill.
Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson of the EOC said, “The proposed amendment bill will bring substantial support to the work of the Government and the EOC in promoting equality and eliminating harassment and discrimination in society. In response to the Public Consultation on the Proposed Introduction of Offences of Voyeurism, Intimate Prying, Non-consensual Photography of Intimate Parts, and Related Offences, the EOC has provided a submission to the Government in October 2020, stating our support to the proposed introduction of the offences of voyeurism, intimate prying, non-consensual photography of intimate parts, and related offences. Our submission also provides recommendations on issues which are relevant to EOC’s role of promoting equality and eliminating harassment and discrimination in society.”
The EOC is responsible for implementing the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), which prohibits discrimination on the ground of sex, pregnancy and marital status, as well as sexual harassment in various public fields. From January 2017 to November 2020, the EOC received 506 sexual harassment complaints, representing 45% of all the complaints received by the EOC under the SDO. It shows that the issue of sexual harassment cannot be ignored. The EOC believes the offences of voyeurism and up-skirting which constitute severe forms of sexual harassment could cause immense distress and even significant adverse psychological impact to the victims. The existing laws are neither adequate nor appropriate to deal with the severe and endemic offences of voyeurism and up-skirting. The EOC, therefore, fully agrees that there is a pressing need to introduce the proposed criminal offences of voyeurism, intimate prying and non-consensual photography of intimate parts.
Revenge porn and non-consensual distribution of intimate images are not uncommon, even in the higher education community. According to the EOC’s large-scale study, “Break the Silence: Territory-Wide Study on Sexual Harassment of University Students in Hong Kong”, conducted in 2019, it was found that 1,662 out of 14,442 surveyed university students were sexually harassed online within 12 months before the study was conducted, and 21% of which said someone had posted indecent image(s) or video(s) of the respondent him/herself online without his/her consent. The EOC in principle agrees that the abovementioned sex crimes involving image-based sexual violence should be outlawed by the Government.
In our submission to the Government, the EOC has discussed and provided recommendations on the issues of “The Principle of Gender Neutrality and Avoidance of Distinctions Based on Sexual Orientation” and “Reviewing and Reforming the Sexual Conviction Record Check Scheme”. For the full content of our submission, please click the link below:
Equal Opportunities Commission
8 January 2021