EOC Statement on International Day of Disabled Persons
In supporting the United Nation's International Day of Disabled Persons (3 December, 2006), Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Mr. Raymond TANG said, "In the last ten years, complaints filed under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance constitute almost 60 % of all complaints received by the Commission. This testifies to the needs, difficulties and barriers faced by persons with a disability in conducting their daily lives."
"Next week, we shall commence a Formal Investigation on accessibility to identify and examine the difficulties encountered by PWDs in respect of physical access to and use of related facilities in a number of premises accessible by the public. This exercise is aimed at enabling all members of our society to become equal and full participants," Mr. TANG said.
"On the issue of transportation, an essential facility allowing persons with disability to fully participate in our community, we have presented our views to the Legislative Council's Subcommittee to Study the Transport Needs and Provision of Concessionary Public Transport Fares for Persons with Disabilities. As yet, the call for social justice for those in need remains unanswered," Mr. TANG further added.
"The International Convention to Protect and Promote the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities is now awaiting adoption at the current session of the United Nations' General Assembly. The Convention prohibits disability discrimination in all areas of life, including civil rights, access to justice and the right to education, health services, and access to transportation. The paradigm shift from a welfare and charity based approach to a rights based model in dealing with disability issues will seek to improve the lives of 650 million individuals around the world. I am glad that the Commission has been able to make a modest contribution, in sharing our experience of implementing the anti-discrimination ordinances in Hong Kong," Mr. TANG concluded.
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