The Government is firmly committed to promoting equal opportunities for all and eliminating all forms of discrimination. We have-as appropriate-adopted various legislative, administrative, and/or educational measures to promote equal opportunities for people of different gender, family status, sexual orientation and race. The Equal Opportunities Commission, which is an independent statutory body established in 1996 under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 480), is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the anti-discrimination ordinances.
Sex and Family Status
The Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 527) came into force in 1996 and 1997 respectively to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex and family status.
We promote equal opportunities on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity through various publicity and educational measures. These include, among others, the Equal Opportunities (Sexual Orientation) Funding Scheme which provides funding support to worthwhile community projects that promote equal opportunities on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, or provide support services for the sexual minorities; promulgation of the Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation; maintenance of a hotline for enquiries and complaints on issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity; and release of promotional videos on equal opportunities for people of different sexual orientation and transgender persons.
In June 2013, the Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities was established to advise the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs on matters relating to concerns about discrimination faced by sexual minorities in Hong Kong, notably the aspects and extent of discrimination faced by sexual minorities in Hong Kong, and the strategies and measures to tackle the problems identified with a view to eliminating discrimination and nurturing a culture of diversity, tolerance and mutual respect in the community. The Advisory Group has completed its work and submitted its report to the Government in December 2015.
The Government is committed to encouraging integration of the ethnic minorities into the community whilst preserving their cultural characteristics.
Race Discrimination Ordinance
The Race Discrimination Ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council on July 2008. The Ordinance has come into full operation in 2009. The Equal Opportunities Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Ordinance.
Administrative Guidelines on Promotion of Racial Equality
The Administrative Guidelines on Promotion of Racial Equality provide guidance to relevant Bureaux and Departments and public authorities to promote racial equality and ensure equal access to public services in key areas concerned. Under the Guidelines, relevant Bureaux, Departments and public authorities have drawn up checklists of measures that would assist in promoting racial equality and equal access to key public services to enhance the transparency of their work. The Guidelines cover the key public services which are particularly relevant to meeting the special needs of ethnic minorities and facilitating their integration into the community, namely, medical, education, vocational training, employment and major community services.
Support Services for Ethnic Minorities
The Race Relations Unit of the Home Affairs Department provides a number of support services for ethnic minorities to facilitate their integration into society and access to public services, in collaboration with non-government organisations and district organisations. The Home
Affairs Department convenes the Committee on the Promotion of Racial Harmony which advises Government on issues concerning ethnic minorities, and the Ethnic Minorities Forum which provides a platform for ethnic minorities and groups representing them to exchange views with the Government.