Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress


Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met on 17 March 2010 (Thursday) at the 89th EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business including the following:
1.       Proposal to set up an Equal Opportunities Tribunal ;
2.       Review of Work of EOC in 2010
The stakeholder consultation exercise on EOC’s proposal to establish an Equal Opportunities Tribunal (EOT) was reported at the meeting. The stakeholders consulted included legal professional associations, unions and employers’ groups, professional bodies and non-governmental organizations.
Members noted that stakeholders consulted generally welcomed the overall objective of making the adjudication system more user-friendly by reducing legal costs and time.
There was general agreement that rules and procedures for claims under discrimination legislation should be simplified. There was a view that simplification of rules can be done within the current District Court system, as this may involve the least degree of change and thus more cost effective. However, this was balanced by the view that a new specialized tribunal would provide better focus and a shift in attitude so as to lead to actual changes. Other major areas discussed related to whether legal representation should be permitted and whether the EOT should have power to transfer cases to the EOC for investigation and conciliation.
Since the responses were on the whole in favour of establishing an EOT, Members recommended that the EOC’s proposal be refined as necessary in the light of the consultation and be forwarded to the Government together with a report of the exercise, with a view to secure the Government’s policy support.
Members reviewed the work of the Commission in 2010. Members noted that both the Government and the LINK had announced concrete timetables and budgeted provisions for improvement in overall accessibility following the EOC’s release of the “Formal Investigation Report: Accessibility in Publicly Accessible Premises” in June 2010. This is a major breakthrough that would facilitate free movements for hundreds of thousands of people with disability (PWDs) and elderly people.
The Commission had provided multi-faceted response to discriminatory acts. In 2010, self-initiated actions were taken in 107 cases which included inaccessible airline service, discriminatory recruitment practice, vilifying remarks on internet, harassing remarks on PWDs, etc.
The EOC had continued to identify social and political issues that have potential impact on the work of the Commission and provided policy inputs. The Commission had liaised with the Hospital Authority in relation to a range of issues including difficulty encountered by patients with hearing impairment to use telephone booking service and discrimination experienced by some. HA then introduced fax booking service for patients with hearing impairment.
The Commission had participated in a series of consultation sessions organized by the Labour Department to assess the impact of the statutory minimum wage (SMW) on employment opportunities of PWDs. Relevant provisions of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and application of the concept of equal employment opportunity for PWDs were explained to government officials to assist them to explore the way forward in devising special arrangements under the SMW.
Members also noted the complaint statistics from January to December 2010 as follows :-
Complaint Statistics (January to December 2010)
Complaints received
(Jan – Dec)
(Jan – Dec)
Compared with same period last year
Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO)
Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO)
Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO)
Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO)*
Not applicable
                             Total :
*The Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) has come into operation from 10 July 2009
Equal Opportunities Commission
17 March 2011