Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC welcomes the Government’s initiatives in the 2011-12 Policy Address to enhance social integration


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes the Policy Address's initiatives to enable better integration of people with disabilities and ethnic minorities into society.

Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, Chairperson of the EOC, said, "The EOC supports the Government's initiatives to provide public transport concessions for people with disabilities and the elderly. Accessible transport is a vital necessity for the less privileged groups and it plays an important role in enabling social inclusion. The measure will facilitate more active participation of people with disabilities and the elderly in their social and economic activities."

Mr. LAM also welcomes the Government's initiatives to support students with special needs by extending the School-based Educational Psychology Service progressively to cover all public secondary and primary schools. The Service will give secondary and primary schools greater support to help students with dyslexia and other special educational needs.

The Government's initiative to set up a new youth college under the Vocational Training Council to provide specialized support for non-Chinese speaking students and those with special educational needs is a positive step to address the educational needs of ethnic minority students. 

Nevertheless, Mr. LAM reiterated the needs for long-term and multi-pronged assistance and support for ethnic minority students, which include introducing Chinese language and cultural programmes at the pre-primary level, and development of an alternative Chinese Language qualification to cater for their educational advancement and vocational needs.

"Education is a crucial factor for the development of our society. By ensuring equal opportunity in education for all members of our community, we develop our most valuable human resource to the full and maintain hope for our ethnic minority children," said Mr. LAM.

On employment support, Mr. LAM welcomes the Government's initiative to inject $100 million into the "Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities through Small Enterprises" Project to create more jobs for these people. 

"In providing employers of people with disabilities with a subsidy to purchase technical aids and modify work areas, the efficiency of employees with disabilities can be enhanced. The measure could hopefully provide incentives for small and medium-size enterprises to recruit employees with disabilities."

Mr. LAM emphasized, "Enhancing employability of people with disabilities enables them to maximize their own abilities and thus achieve greater self-sufficiency. It could also alleviate poverty and promote social cohesion."

The EOC also supports the Government's initiative to consider granting male civil servants paid paternity leave and to consider making this provision a statutory requirement for all employers. Mr. LAM said, "We recognize that family is a foundation of society. The EOC is always in support of family friendly employment policies in the work place, so that both employers and employees benefit from better work-life balance. The measure will enable husbands to provide support and care to their wives after giving birth, thus help relieve the burden and stress of couples who have newborn babies."

"The EOC has strongly advocated for and will lend staunch support to measures that could enhance full integration of people with disabilities and ethnic minorities. The Commission will monitor closely the effective implementation of these plans," Mr. LAM added. 


For media enquiries, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.


Equal Opportunities Commission

13 October 2011