Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress


Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met today (Thursday, 19 June 2008) at the 73rd EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business including the following:
  1. Update on Progress of Formal Investigation on Accessibility in Certain Publicly Accessible Premises
  2. Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
  3. Reports of the Legal & Complaints Committee, Community Participation & Publicity Committee, Public Education & Research Committee, Administration & Finance Committee
  4. EOC’s Thematic Work Plan for 2008/09
Members discussed the EOC’s thematic work plan for 2008/09. The major themes of the work plan were (i) mainstreaming the culture of equal opportunities in Hong Kong; (ii) improved accessibility in Hong Kong (iii) combating discrimination and prejudice (with a focus on disability issue); (iv) raising awareness and support for gender equality; (v) preparing for the enactment of the race law and (vi) strengthening organizational capacity. In updating the thematic work plan of the Commission, reference has been made to the findings of recent EOC surveys on EO awareness.
Site inspection of the Formal Investigation on Accessibility in Certain Publicly Accessible Premises has been completed. The EOC office is in the course of writing up the Formal Investigation Report, taking note of the findings and observations from the access audit, information/feedback from managers of Target Premises, advice from EOC Members and EOC’s enforcement experience.
Members also discussed the work plan to release the newly developed best practice guidelines to promote the concept of equal pay for work of equal value (EPEV). Sharing forums will be organized for public and private sector employers in July 2008 to explain the concepts and principles of EPEV.
Brief reports from the Commission’s four Committees were discussed, charting the progress of various aspects of the EOC’s work in the past quarter. EOC Chairperson, Raymond TANG, said that the Commission was generally satisfied with the work progress. “We will continue to develop partnerships with public and private sector employers to mainstream the culture of equal opportunities in Hong Kong, and garner community support for equal opportunities through our public education initiatives.” (See Appendix for examples of new EOC initiatives.)
Statistics for complaint handling for the first five months of 2008
(Jan to May)
 (Jan to May)
Compared with same period last year
Complaints under SDO
114 (36%)
130 (41%)
Complaints under DDO
189 (60%)
169 (53%)
Complaints under FSDO
11 (4%)
20 (6%)
Referring to the above table, a total of 319 complaints were received from January to May 2008, compared with 314 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 2%.  
  • Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), up until May this year, 130 complaints were received, an increase of 14% over the same period in 2007, when 114 were received.
  • A decrease of 11% was recorded for complaints received under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), 169 cases were received in the first five months of 2008, compared with 189 in the same period of last year.
  • Complaint cases received under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) totaled 20 cases so far this year, 11 cases were recorded in the same period last year.
  • By respective Ordinance, 53% of the complaints were on the DDO, 41% were on SDO and 6% on FSDO.
Increase in pregnancy discrimination complaints
The Commission has recorded an increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints. In the first five months of 2008, 69 complaints relating to pregnancy discrimination were received, compared with 52 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 33%.  It is unlawful under the SDO to discriminate against women on account of their pregnancy, in the course of recruitment, during employment or returning from maternity leave.
To educate members of the public on the unlawfulness of pregnancy discrimination, the EOC has conducted a public education campaign on preventing pregnancy discrimination. The major initiatives include the broadcasting of two TV and radio APIs on pregnancy discrimination until March 2009 and the publishing of a new pamphlet on this issue for distribution to employers, employees and the general public. The APIs can be viewed at the EOC website (http://www.eoc.org.hk) or Youtube(http://www.youtube.com/user/HKEOC).
Minutes of the 73rd 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 18 September 2008.

Media Enquiries : Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel No. : 2106-2226)
Equal Opportunities Commission
19 June 2008

Examples of new EOC initiatives
1.      New multimedia productions for the general public

To foster acceptance of equal opportunities, a video called “Between Hearing & Not Hearing” 《聽到與聽不到之間》has been produced and uploaded on the EOC YouTube webpage (http://www.youtube.com/user/HKEOC). The topic of discrimination faced by people with hearing impairment is explored in this video. The EOC is working on more multimedia productions to promote equal opportunities, as part of our public education campaign called “Stop Discrimination Now – Starting with You and Me”.

2.      New resources for people with visual impairment
The latest EOC Newsletter (in Cantonese audio version) has been uploaded on the website of the Hong Kong Society for the Blind (http://netshare.hk/mag/index.php), to inform people with visual impairment about our work. While a Braille version has been available since 1997, this new audio version is useful for those who do not know Braille. This audio version is also available by dialing their Tele-digital library (16 lines), and bilingual tapes (English/Chinese) are provided free to their members
The EOC’s 10th anniversary commemorative publication “Advancing Equal Opportunities” 《奮進平等路》 is now available in audio version (in Cantonese, Putonghua and English), in addition to its print and Braille versions. This is Hong Kong’s first talking book on equal opportunities produced in collaboration with Retina Hong Kong, a self-help group of persons with visual impairment. DVDs are available to the public on request (tel. 2511 8211).
The first part of the book explores the remarkable stories of 14 individuals on how they have contributed to the cause of working towards a fairer and more inclusive society. The second part highlights the advancement of equal opportunities in Hong Kong since the establishment of the EOC. The bilingual publication supplements the Education Bureau's curriculum on Liberal Studies in the area of "Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships". Ample suggestions are provided for teachers, students, activity organizers to facilitate interactive and experiential learning at the end of each story.
3.      New articles to promote equal opportunities
In our quest for an inclusive society, we come across people and situations that cause us to reflect upon our work, the objectives that we have set for ourselves and the reasons why we must persevere. By recounting our reflections in brief, we share our vision and experience with our community partners. Two new articles on human rights have been uploaded recently on EOC Website under “Brief Reflections: Things We Do, People We Meet《一些人‧一些事 -- 深思簡論》”: http://www.eoc.org.hk
4.      New programme to promote racial harmony
Radio segments titled “Ethnic Minorities’ Cultural Class” introducing simple languages, cultures and life styles of ethnic minorities, is broadcast every Thursday in the Chinese language programme "Made in Hong Kong Alex Lee" on RTHK Radio 2 (FM 94.8- 96.9) from 1:30 to 2:00 pm. Click on to the EOC’s webpage “A World of Colours” to access the link: http://www.eoc.org.hk/eoc/woc.htm.