4 May 2016
Hong Kong's Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has made 73 recommendations to the government to reform the city's existing four anti-discrimination ordinances, namely:
- Sex Discrimination Ordinance;
- Family Status Discrimination Ordinance;
- Race Discrimination Ordinance; and
- Disability Discrimination Ordinance.
The EOC highlighted 27 issues as higher priority areas for reform. In summary these include:
- Providing stronger and more comprehensive protection for various vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, women, and ethnic minorities.
- Recommendations include introducing express protection for people with disabilities who are accompanied by assistance animals and women who are breastfeeding, and expanding the protection against racial discrimination by association beyond close relatives to also cover friends, colleagues, and other associates.
- Encouraging institutional changes and addressing systemic inequality.
- Recommendations include introducing a duty to provide reasonable accommodation for people with disability across multiple domains and the right of women to return to a work position after maternity leave.
- Facilitating more effective application of the anti-discrimination ordinances.
- Recommendations include enhancing the clarity and consistency of the definition and protection against direct and indirect discrimination as well as harassment across various protected characteristics.
- Closing the gaps in the existing protection against discrimination.
- Recommendations include providing protection from racial discrimination in relation to the exercise of government functions and powers, and providing express protection from discrimination in voting and standing for elections for persons with disabilities.
The EOC's 73 recommendations were a product of their Discrimination Law Review, which included a four-month public consultation. The aim was to simplify and modernise Hong Kong's anti-discrimination regime.
Full reports can be found here:
EOC's Submissions to the Government
EOC's Report on Responses to the Public Consultation