EOC Promotes Racial Harmony and Equal Opportunities with Community Partners
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is launching various initiatives, including a funding programme, to promote racial harmony, equal opportunities, inclusion and diversity in Hong Kong.
“We are stepping up our public education programmes to raise awareness on racial equality as the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) is expected to be effective in mid-2009,” said Mr. Raymond TANG, EOC Chairperson. “I would like to take the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st to reiterate the EOC’s commitment to promote racial harmony and diversity in Hong Kong.”
“Hong Kong is a multicultural society and an internationally important business centre,” added Mr. TANG. “Effective implementation of the RDO and elimination of racial discrimination will further enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in business and reinforce our international image.”
Starting from April 2009, the EOC will extend the scope of its Community Participation Funding Programme on Equal Opportunities to include projects promoting racial equality. It will also increase the funding limit of each individual project from $30,000 to $50,000 (Details : https://www.eoc.org.hk/en/news-and-events/events-and-programmes/eoc-events/community-participation-funding-programme).
The EOC has supported over 600 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and schools for the past 12 years to carry out projects that promote public understanding of equal opportunities and the principles of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance through the Community Participation Funding Programme. With the extension in scope, the programme can now support projects that promote the principles of the RDO which was enacted in July 2008, and equal opportunities for ethnic minorities.
Projects promoting racial harmony and the RDO, gender equality, disability rights, equal opportunities for persons with family status, and those promoting anti-discrimination policies and practices at workplace will be accorded higher priority for funding this year. To be eligible for funding, the applications should reach the EOC either by 15 May 2009 (1st batch) or by 14 August 2009 (2nd batch), and clearly state how the planned activities will promote equal opportunities, and/or foster anti-discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.
The EOC is also launching extensive publicity campaigns to promote and spread the message of racial harmony and equal opportunities. It has already prepared and distributed public education materials in eight languages (six ethnic minority languages, Chinese and English), which is also available online at the EOC website.
The EOC is partnering with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to produce a weekly programme to highlight equal opportunities issues. The programme will be launched in April 2009 with a weekly radio segment to introduce the life-style, simple language terms and culture of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong through the “Made in Hong Kong – Mr. Alex Lee” programme. A weekly phone-in session is also designed for ethnic minorities to call the radio programme to share their views.
The EOC is also partnering with the Commercial Radio 1 to produce a series of 30-minute radio drama based on real life stories. The 28-week radio drama series, which will be launched in June 2009, will feature different stories of race discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination and family status discrimination. The legal perspectives on discriminatory acts and general equal opportunity issues will be featured in the series.
The EOC will also produce TV and radio Announcements of Public Interests (APIs) to promote the messages of racial harmony and the RDO. Posters promoting racial harmony will be displayed at the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations and messages of RDO and racial harmony will be painted on public buses.
A series of exhibitions will be held by the EOC at various MTR stations, public estates and shopping malls between July and December 2009 to promote the messages of racial harmony and the anti-discrimination ordinances with emphasis on the RDO.
Equal Opportunities Commission
18 March 2009