Media Briefing Notes following the 63rd EOC Meeting of 14 September 2006
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met today (Thursday, 14 September 2006) and discussed matters related to the Commission's business as listed in the following:
- Formal Investigation on Accessibility in Certain Publicly Accessible Premises
- Update on Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Study (EPEV Study)
- Endorsement of Co-opted Members
- Six Monthly Review of EOC's Work (January - June 2006)
- Reports of the Legal & Complaints Committee, Community Participation & Publicity Committee, Public Education & Research Committee and Administration & Finance Committee
- UNESCAP Meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, 17-21 July 2006
- Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 36th Session, 7-25 August 2006, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Commission Members discussed the Formal Investigation (FI) on Accessibility in Certain Publicly Accessible Premises with focus on the extent of the investigation conducted under section 66 of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO). Based on the number of complaints lodged with the Commission in recent years, it is evident that accessibility remains a major issue and problem for persons with a disability, to the extent that it affects the daily lives of many in the community. The FI is aimed to address equality of opportunity between persons with a disability and persons without a disability.
Relating to the Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Study (EPEV Study), Members discussed an updated report from the EOC Office and considerations were given on the way to proceed with the subject. Another item for Members' advice was endorsement of Co-opted Members for the Community Participation and Publicity Committee, a sub-committee of the Commission. Three proposals were put forward for today's meeting.
Among the papers tabled for Members' information were reports on the UNESCAP Meetings in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2006 and the 36th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) held in New York in August 2006, which were attended by EOC representatives.
Statistics for 8 months
From January to August 2006, a total of 494 complaints were received compared with 487 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 1.4%. Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), up until August this year, 193 complaints were received, an increase of 21% over the same period in 2005, when 159 were received. A slight decrease of 9% was recorded for complaints received under the DDO. 283 cases were received in the first eight months of 2006, compared with 311 in the same period of last year. Complaints received under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) remained at a similar level, 18 cases so far this year, against 17 cases in the same period last year. By respective Ordinance, 57% of the complaints were on the DDO, 39% were on SDO and 4% on FSDO.
The Commission has recorded a significant increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. In the first eight months of 2006, 87 complaints on pregnancy discrimination were received compared with 53 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 64%. 57 complaints on sexual harassment were received in the same period of 2006 against 44 in 2005, an increase of 30%.
Minutes of the 63rd EOC meeting will be uploaded to the Commission's website at http://www.eoc.org.hk following Members' confirmation of its content at the next meeting on 14th December 2006.
Media enquiries : Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel : 2106-2226)