Equal Opportunities Commission


Race Discrimination

Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 602) (RDO)

The RDO protects people against discrimination, harassment, and vilification on the ground of their race. Victimisation is also unlawful under the RDO. "Race" means the race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin of a person. Under the RDO, it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or vilify a person on the ground of his/her race in prescribed areas of activities, including:

  • employment
  • education
  • provision of goods, services and/or facilities
  • disposal and/or management of premises
  • eligibility to vote for and to stand for election to public bodies, etc.
  • participation in clubs

Protection is extended in respect of discrimination on the ground of the race of the person’s associate. An “associate” includes the person’s spouse, relative, carer, a person who is living with the person on a domestic basis, or who is in a business, sporting or recreational relationship with the person.

Protection is also extended in respect of discrimination on the ground of race by imputation. It is unlawful for a person who discriminates against or harasses another person on the basis of a mistaken perception of the race of the other person.

The RDO renders racial harassment between workplace participants at a common workplace unlawful, even where there is no employment or employment-like relationship between them. The definition of a workplace participant is the same as under the SDO and DDO.

In relation to the provision of goods, services and/or facilities, the RDO protects service providers from racial harassment by customers (and vice versa). This is so even if the harassment took place outside Hong Kong but on Hong Kong registered aircraft and ships.