EOC Concludes 3-Day Beijing Exchange
Members and senior staff of the Equal Opportunities Commission have concluded a three day intensive exchange programme to seven relevant NGOs and government departments in Beijing, and returned to Hong Kong last Friday, 15 July, 2005.
The EOC delegation's itinerary is listed in the following:
12 July 2005
State Council Information Office - Vice Minister, Mr. Qian Xiaoqian
Ministry of Civil Affairs - Vice Minister, Mr. Li Liguo
Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council - Vice Director, Mr. Zhang Xiaoming
13 July 2005
State Ethnic Affairs Commission - Vice Minister, Mr. Mou Benli
All China Women's Federation (Legal Aid Centre) - Vice President, Ms. Mo Wenxiu
14 July 2005
Party School of CPC - Vice Principal, Mr. Li Junru
China Disabled Persons' Federation (Beijing Employment Advice Centre for Disabled Persons) - Vice Chairman, Mr. Wang Xinxian
The delegation comprised eight EOC members, and nine staff members. The Members included the Chairperson, Mr. Raymond TANG, Dr. Edwin CHENG Kwok-kit, Ms. Virginia CHOI Wai-kam, Dr. Agnes LAW Koon-chui, Dr. LO Wing-lok, the Hon. Mandy TAM Heung-man, Mr. Saeed UDDIN, and Mr. Raymond YIP Kin-man. The staff team comprised the Director of Planning and Administration, the Acting Director of Operations, Chief Officer of the Operations Division, Head of the Policy and Research Unit, Head of the Corporate Communications and Training Unit, and 4 staff members.
Chairperson of the EOC, Mr. Raymond Tang said, "The subjects raised included protection of individuals' rights, empowerment issues for women and persons with a disability. On ethnic minority policies the relevant Ministry introduced us to the Mainland's system and framework to maintain social harmony. Such learning would assist our staff in handling situations involving persons with Mainland background."
"Our Members and senior staff were also able to learn first hand about the advances that were being made in the legal mechanisms and framework for assisting disadvantaged groups on the Mainland. Amongst others, we learned that the All China Women's Federation had set up a national hotline; and a network of lawyers who were able to answer calls to help women who require urgent assistance. The China Disabled Persons' Federation had proposed to the National People's Congress to legislate on improving protection for people with mental illness, regarding healthcare, employment and relevant rights. The State Ethnic Affairs Commission was concerned about the economic development of minority groups, and we improved our understanding of the social harmony policies regarding language, cultural rights, education and employment."
"The outcome of our talks will benefit the Commission's work in the areas of research and policy, complaint handling, promotion and training. We will share our findings, pending Members' approval, through the normal course of information dissemination, which is the EOC website and our newsletter. A sharing session with our staff who have not had the opportunity to join the programme will be scheduled soon," the Chairperson said.
Mr. Tang continued, "Relating to concerns about the Commission's day-to-day operations, business continued as usual in the past week. 65 public enquiries and 12 complaints were handled, while in the previous week, the corresponding figures were 55 enquiries and 8 complaints. Our system of work delegation was maintained, and daily contacts between our staff in Beijing and Hong Kong continued throughout."
Dr. Lo Wing-lok who participated in the Beijing exchange agreed, "We have succeeded in achieving the purpose of the visit, which was a team building exercise, an offsite training exercise for Members and senior staff, and a friendly exchange with the Commission's counterparts on the Mainland."
Enquiry: Ms. Mariana LAW 21062226