In response to press reports about the financial provision for the promotion of human rights in the 2011-12 Budget, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) said today (February 24) that the Government's expenditure on the promotion of human rights continued to increase in recent years, and the estimated expenditure in this area in the 2011-12 Budget has not decreased.
"Since the CMAB has taken up the responsibility for policies relating to rights of individuals in 2007, we have been raising the public's awareness of and respect for human rights through public education, promotional activities and other measures. We have also increased the financial provisions for the programme 'Rights of the Individual' and 'Subvention: Equal Opportunities Commission and Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data' under the budgets," said the spokesman.
"The change in the expenditure under the programme of 'Rights of the Individual' in the 2011-12 Budget is mainly due to the transfer of a financial provision of $26.3 million on support services for ethnic minorities and relevant resources and manpower to the accounts of the Home Affairs Department (HAD) starting from 2011-12. This is to implement the measure to assist ethnic minorities as announced by the Chief Executive in his 2010-11 Policy Address, under which the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs would lead a dedicated team to step up and co-ordinate efforts in facilitating the integration of new arrivals to Hong Kong and ethnic minorities into the community.
"In fact, in 2011-12, the estimated expenditure of the CMAB under the programmes 'Rights of the Individual' and 'Subvention: Equal Opportunities Commission and Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data' is $153.2 million. Together with the financial provision to be transferred to the HAD, the total estimated expenditure in respect of the promotion of human rights will be $179.5 million. This represents a further increase, rather than a decline, in the total expenditure for this work as compared with the total estimated expenditure (i.e. $178.6 million) for 2010-11".
Ends/Thursday, February 24, 2011