Press Releases

Government's response to human rights report

    In response to media enquiries regarding comments in the Civil Human Rights Front's report on Hong Kong's human rights situation released today (April 1), a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said the following.

    The spokesman said, "Human rights in Hong Kong are fully protected by law. The legislative safeguards are enshrined in the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other relevant ordinances. They are buttressed by the rule of law and an independent judiciary. We also have an institutional framework of organisations which helps promote and safeguard different rights. These organisations include the legal aid services, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and the Ombudsman.

    "The HKSAR Government's liaison with the Mainland focuses mainly on regional cooperation and economic and trade development matters.  There is no question of 'Mainland officials interfering in any way into human rights matters in Hong Kong' as alleged in the report. Such allegation is totally unfounded and untrue," he said.

    The spokesman said that since assuming responsibility for coordinating the Government's human rights policies last July, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau had been committed to protecting human rights and had actively pursued various measures for promotion of human rights. 

    "In regard to legislation, we will continue to assist the Legislative Council Bills Committee in its study of the Race Discrimination Bill. Our target is to resume Second Reading of the Bill within the current Legislative Council session. Taking into account Members' views, we will, as appropriate, propose amendments to the Bill. We have apprised the Bills Committee of the details last month.

    "Moreover, in light of the needs of members of the ethnic minorities, we have secured resources for setting up four ethnic minority support centres in different locations in Hong Kong. We would provide additional resources for promoting community participation and public education on human rights. We would also provide extra funding to the Privacy Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission to strengthen their work on promotion of human rights and equal opportunity," the spokesman said.

Ends/Tuesday, April 1, 2008