"Equal Opportunities Expo 2000" Launched
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) launched today (22 October 2000) the "Equal Opportunities Expo 2000" at Plaza Hollywood. The opening ceremony is a kick-off to a month-long series of events and activities to promote equal opportunities. With the theme "Equal Opportunities in Everyday Life", the Expo shows how equal opportunities can affect our daily lives.
Officiating at the Opening Ceremony was the Secretary for Home Affairs Mr. W. K. Lam, who was joined by Ms. Anna Wu, Chairperson of the EOC. Mr. Lam commended the EOC for its work. "After four years of hard work, Hong Kong residents have gained a better understanding of the protection offered by the anti-discrimination ordinances. In the first nine months of this year, the EOC has successfully conciliated or resolved a total of 132 cases of discrimination. The growing number of telephone enquiries and EOC web site users reflects the recognition and importance people accord to the Commission."
Ms. Anna Wu said, "The focus of the Expo is two-fold, to encourage community support and acceptance for persons with a mental illness, and also to promote the public's understanding of the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance."
Ms. Wu explained, " Many persons with a mental illness are still burdened by the stigma associated with their illness and this prevents them from rejoining the community. Through a total of 15 educational events in the coming month, I hope more people will learn to accept persons with a mental illness, and also discourage discrimination on the ground of family status."
Mr. W. K. LAM and Ms. Anna Wu, after completing the Opening Ceremony, surfed on the Internet at the Commission's information booth to visit the EOC's new SME Corner, a useful resource for Hong Kong's 280,000 small and medium enterprises on the TDC web site.
Ms. Anna Wu said, "Equal opportunities is about creating a level-playing field and using human resources effectively. We are deeply grateful for the support from the TDC and community members in promoting these messages."
The EOC also introduced two new educational CD-ROMs entitled "Knowing More About Equal Opportunities" and "Towards Equal Opportunities" at the Expo. The CD-ROMs are designed for school children and adults by students from the University of Hong Kong.
At today's Expo, three LegCo Members, Mr. MAK Kwok-fung, Mr. LAW Chi-kwong and Ms. Cyd HO Sau-lan, joined other panel speakers in exploring ways to support persons with mental illness and their families, and issues facing single parents. The panelists unanimously agreed that more resources and support should be made available to these disadvantaged groups.
The Equal Opportunities Commission appointed famous artiste Ms. Nancy Sit Ka-yin as Equal Opportunities Ambassador at the ceremony, for her generous support of the work of the EOC.
Today's Equal Opportunities Expo featured performances, games, exhibitions and a number of advisory booths. Counselors manning the booths were from the Hong Kong Single Parents Association, Harmony House, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, Rehab Power, ReHaAid Centre and Teen AIDS.
At the EOC information booth, Ms. YIU Pui-ling, who was born with cerebral palsy, demonstrated a different way of using the computer with a sip-and-blow device. Using this device, she has written her first book, "The Little Bird in a Wheelchair", which was launched at the EOC booth.
Details of the Expo programmes are available on the EOC website at http://www.eoc.org.hk. The EOC's SME Corner can be located at the TDC website at http://www.tdctrade.com. The Equal Opportunities Expo 2000 programme brochures are available in District Offices, Labour Department offices and the EOC Office. The public is most welcome to participate in the activities.
Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211