The EOC Reports on Work Plans and Progress
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met on 15 September 2011 (Thursday) at the 92nd EOC Meeting and discussed various matters related to the Commission’s business.
EOC Members discussed the Judiciary’s Review on Adjudication of Equal Opportunities Claims which was released on 1 September 2011. Members welcomed the Judiciary’s affirmation that anti-discrimination statutes are social legislation protecting civil rights and that equal opportunities (EO) claims should be adjudicated in a speedy and inexpensive manner. The EOC had earlier recommended setting up a special Equal Opportunities Tribunal (EOT) in order to make the adjudication system more user-friendly by reducing legal costs and time.
Members considered the consultation offered a good opportunity for all stakeholders and the public to give views on how best to improve the adjudication process for EO claims. The Commission would submit its views to the Judiciary after consolidating Members’ opinions on the Review.
Members examined the progress of follow up actions on the Report on Formal Investigation on Accessibility in Publicly Accessible Premises. They were in general satisfied with the progress in the improvement works undertaken by the Government and the LINK.
The Commission reviewed the work of the EOC in the first half of this year. Members noted that the number of public enquiries had increased considerably, in particular for specific enquiries which jumped from 3,253 to 4,582 cases, or some 40%, compared with the same period last year. This is a reflection that the public is increasingly concerned with the work of the EOC. Members also noticed that the EOC Office had experimented with using more advertisement platforms to promote the concept and value of the EOC, including using MTR escalator’s and station platform’s advertising space, advertising on tram bodies and on Yahoo’s homepage. The EOC has also been strengthening its reaching out efforts to enhance communication with ethnic minority communities. Three ethnic minority staff have been recruited for the said purpose.
EOC Members also noted that an Easy Read Guide to the Code of Practice on Employment under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (2011) would be published for members of the public, especially employers and employees, to make easy reference to the Code. Written in simple language and illustrated with lively drawings, the Easy Read Guide served as a roadmap to the Code and brought out the essence of the important legal concepts in the Disability Discrimination Ordinance as discussed in the Code. Members noted that the Easy Read Guide would be available to the public by the end of September 2011.
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Equal Opportunities Commission
15 September 2011