EOC Welcomes the Race Discrimination Ordinance and its Code of Practice on Employment Coming into Operation
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes the passage by the Legislative Council today (9 July 2009) the Code of Practice on Employment under the Race Discrimination Ordinance (the Code) and the intended gazettal by the Government on 10 July 2009 of the commencement notices of the remaining provisions under the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) and the Code.
The EOC issued the Code, which was first gazetted on 8 May 2009. The Commission had undertaken wide public consultation and taken into account the views and comments received.
Mr. Raymond TANG, Chairperson of the EOC, said, “We believe that the process of consultation on the Code of Practice has enabled the society to gain a fuller understanding of the Race Discrimination Ordinance, which aims to make racial discrimination, harassment and vilification unlawful. We also received good suggestions to improve the Code in the consultation process.”
“The Code gives practical guidance on how to prevent discrimination and harassment on the ground of race and promote racial equality and harmony in the employment field. It will encourage employers, employees and other concerned parties to promote racial equality and harmony in the workplace by adopting good practices, and to help them to understand their respective rights and responsibilities under the RDO. The Code also helps employees and workers to know what to do if they encounter discrimination and harassment on the ground of race,” elaborated Mr. TANG.
“The EOC is committed to eliminating racial discrimination in our community. With the full implementation of the RDO, the EOC is expecting more enquiries and complaints. When the EOC receives complaints lodged under the RDO, it will conduct investigation and facilitate the settlement of complaints through conciliation between the parties in dispute, as well as providing legal assistance in appropriate cases,” Mr. TANG remarked.
“Another major task of the EOC is to promote equal opportunities and eliminate racial discrimination through publicity and public education,” said Mr. TANG.
“We plan to issue the Code in eight languages, namely Chinese, English, Urdu, Nepali, Tagalog, Thai, Hindi and Indonesian, so as to facilitate better understanding of its content among people of different ethnic backgrounds. Territory-wide announcement of the implementation of the RDO and its Code will be made through newspapers, radio and TV advertisements, as well as the EOC newsletter. Trainings and briefings will be conducted for the public and private sectors and professional bodies. The Commission will also organize roving exhibitions and subsidize community projects to help promote a better understanding of the new Ordinance and the Code,” added Mr. TANG.
The finalized Code of Practice on Employment is now available at the EOC website. The printed version of the Code will be made available to the general public and organizations for reference in mid-July 2009. The EOC hotline for enquiries and complaints is 2511-8211.
Equal Opportunities Commission
9 July 2009