Media Briefing Notes following the 64th EOC Meeting of 14 December 2006
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met today (Thursday, 14 December 2006) and discussed matters related to the Commission's business as listed in the following :
- Reports of the Legal & Complaints Committee, Community Participation & Publicity Committee, Public Education & Research Committee, Administration & Finance Committee.
- Approval of EOC's Audited Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2006.
The Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Mr. Raymond TANG updated Commission Members on the latest situation regarding the Formal Investigation on Accessibility in certain Publicly Accessible Premises, which was publicly announced in the government gazette and a number of major newspapers on 8th December, 2006. The scope of the Formal Investigation will cover about 60 sites, which is approximately 6% of public buildings managed by the Housing Authority, The Link Management Ltd., the Housing Society and the HKSAR Government.
As a proactive measure, the Formal Investigation will seek the opinions and views of interested parties, including disability groups, professionals and relevant stakeholders regarding accessibility problems and issues to consider ways of improvement. The Formal Investigation will make public its report findings and recommendation. Where possible, the Commission is committed to effect changes in attitude, policies and practices through public education, development of best practices and lobby for policy amendments.
The Chairperson also updated Members on the introduction of the Race Discrimination Bill to the Legislative Council. Brief reports from the Commission's 4 Committees were discussed, charting the progress of various aspects of the EOC's work in the past quarter. For noting and record purposes, advice given earlier by Members on the audited accounts for the past year ending March 2006 was reported at the meeting today.
Statistics for 11 months
From January to November 2006, a total of 669 complaints were received compared with 661 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 1.2%. Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), up until November this year, 255 complaints were received, an increase of 24% over the same period in 2005, when 206 were received. A decrease of 9.5% was recorded for complaints received under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), 390 cases were received in the first eight months of 2006, compared with 431 in the same period of last year. Complaint cases received under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) totaled 24 cases so far this year, the same number was recorded in the same period last year. By respective Ordinance, 58% of the complaints were on the DDO, 38% 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, 109 complaints on pregnancy discrimination were received compared with 72 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 51%. 76 complaints on sexual harassment were received in the same period of 2006 against 59 in 2005, an increase of 29%.
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 15 March 2007.
Media enquiries : Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel : 2106-2226)