The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met on 16 June 2011 (Thursday) at the 90th EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business including the following:
- Progress of follow-up Actions on the Report on Formal Investigation on Accessibility in Certain Publicly Accessible Premises
- Report on Education for Ethnic Minorities
- EOC’s Report & Refined Recommendations to the Government on the Establishment of an Equal Opportunities Tribunal
EOC Members welcomed the concrete plans and timetable announced by the Government, Housing Authority and the LINK to improve accessibility in all premises/facilities owned and managed by them. Members noted that the improvement timetables had been put on government website as public information and the progress would be updated on quarterly basis. In order to achieve the aim of making Hong Kong accessible to all, the Working Group on Access under the Policy and Research Committee (PARC) of the EOC would follow up on the issue and look into accessibility at-large.
Members noted that the Working Group on Education for Ethnic Minorities (EM) under the PARC of the EOC had compiled a comprehensive report which noted with great concern the challenges faced by EM students in local schools on difficulties in learning Chinese. The Report identified the key service gaps and made comprehensive recommendations on how improvements should be made. The Report will be published and presented to the Government for consideration.
Members also noted that the EOC engaged stakeholders in a Consultation Exercise in the past few months on the proposal to establish an Equal Opportunities Tribunal (EOT). The stakeholders consulted generally welcomed the objective of making the adjudication system more user-friendly by reducing legal costs and time.
The Commission endorsed certain refinements to the 2009 Proposal to incorporate stakeholders’ views and comments. The proposed refinements include : (1) the proposed EOT should replace the District Court as the adjudicating body for discrimination cases; (2) the EOT should have power to investigate and inquire into claims, as these would facilitate the effective and prompt resolution of disputes; and (3) the EOT should also take on the function of helping the parties to settle amicably. The Report and its Recommendations would be submitted to the Government with an urge to action.
Media enquiries: Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel : 2106-2226)
Equal Opportunities Commission
16 June 2011