EOC to Combat Systemic Discrimination and to Promote Equal Opportunities from Childhood
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) will focus on combating systemic discrimination and promoting equal opportunities from childhood as its two main strategic areas of work.
Speaking at a press briefing after an EOC Meeting today (26 March 1998), Dr. Fanny Cheung Mui-ching, Chairperson of the EOC, said "The EOC has endorsed a three-year corporate plan for 1998/99 to 2000/2001 covering various strategic areas of work."
"Addressing systemic discrimination will be one of the Commission's main focuses in the coming year,” Dr. Cheung said."
"The Commission intends to examine if systemic discrimination exists in the important areas of employment and education," Dr. Cheung added.
"On employment, the practice of pre-employment medical examinations and requirements for medical information will be looked into. The Commission has received complaints that job applicants were rejected for employment after they were found to be pregnant through pre-employment medical examinations or because they did not wish to undergo X-ray examinations," Dr. Cheung said.
"Also, job seekers who have a disability were refused employment following a pre-employment medical examination and disclosure of medical information. Often the medical information being sought may not be directly relevant to the job in question," Dr. Cheung added.
"The area of equal opportunities in education will also be looked at by the EOC. We have received complaints that children with disabilities were denied admission to main stream schools and there are reports that boys and girls in secondary schools are not given a real choice in the selection of subjects, for instance, subjects like design and technology, and home economics." said Dr. Cheung.
In its publicity and public education efforts, the EOC will also focus on promoting equal opportunities from childhood.
"The EOC hopes to work in close partnership with schools, for example, in staging drama performances for children in schools to promote the message of equal opportunities," Dr. Cheung said.
"The EOC will also develop training modules on equal opportunities targeting children of different ages for use by school teachers and childcare workers," Dr. Cheung added.
At the press briefing, Dr. Cheung also reported that for the period between 20 September 1996 to 28 February 1998, the EOC has received 8236 enquiries and 540 complaints from the public. Of the 540 complaints, 195 were for investigation and conciliation, while 345 were 'other complaints'.
Dr. Cheung noted that there has been an increasing number of enquiries and complaints on discrimination due to pregnancy and on sexual harassment and the EOC is closely monitoring the situation.
Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211