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 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 eliminating racial discrimination and promoting equal opportunities for people of diverse race. The Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 602) came into full operation in 2009 to prohibit discrimination on the ground of race. 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 (“the Guidelines”) are developed to raise all Government bureaux and departments as well as related organisations’ (collectively referred to as “public authorities”) awareness on the need for racial diversity and inclusion as well as equity considerations in the formulation, implementation and review of relevant policies and measures. The Guidelines also provide guidance to public authorities to ensure that people of Hong Kong, regardless of their race, enjoy equal access to public services.
Under the Guidelines, public authorities have drawn up checklists of measures that would assist in promoting equal access to public services. You are welcome to click here for the checklists of measures prepared by public authorities.
Public authorities have also arranged interpretation and translation services to service users in need as appropriate. Please click here for the aggregate statistics for 2021-22.
Registration in the List of Non-Government Foreign Language Interpreters
To facilitate public authorities in engaging service providers for interpretation and translation services, especially in court and/or related matters, CMAB is compiling, on a pilot basis, a List of Non-government Foreign Language Interpreters (the List), which will be shared with public authorities for reference as appropriate.
As a first step, we invite all freelance interpreters for foreign languages currently engaged by the Judiciary Administration to register. Interested parties should complete the reply slip, and return it to CMAB by post, email or fax, together with a copy of the service engagement letter issued by the Judiciary Administrator. We may contact you for further information, if required.
If you have any enquiries, please send them to CMAB (Team 5) by email: email@example.com.
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.
Steering Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs
The Steering Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (the Steering Committee), chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, is tasked to co-ordinate cross-bureau/ inter-departmental efforts on the support for ethnic minorities. The terms of reference of the Steering Committee are:
|(i)||to co-ordinate, review and explore policies and measures with the objective of facilitating equal access to public services by ethnic minorities so that they can better integrate into the community, become self-reliant and move upwards along the social ladder;|
|(ii)||to monitor the implementation of relevant policies and measures to ensure that the intended objective is met; and|
|(iii)||to engage stakeholders to strengthen support for ethnic minorities.|
The membership of the Steering Committee comprises Directors of Bureaux who oversee the provision of key support services relevant to ethnic minorities, including:
- Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
- Secretary for the Civil Service
- Secretary for Education
- Secretary for Health
- Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs
- Secretary for Labour and Welfare
- Secretary for Security
Depending on the issues to be discussed, other Directors of Bureaux and Heads of Departments will also attend the meetings of the Steering Committee.
After considering how to make the best use of the $500 million earmarked in the 2018-19 Budget, the Steering Committee co-ordinated and formulated a series of new measures covering education, employment, health, social welfare and social integration to enhance support for ethnic minorities. These measures were announced in “The Chief Executive’s 2018 Policy Address” and “The Chief Executive’s 2019 Policy Address”.
The measures have all been put to implementation. The total estimated expenditure for these measures amounts to over $800 million in the four financial years starting from the 2019-20 financial year. The Government will continue to closely monitor the needs of ethnic minorities and provide timely and suitable assistance.