The Hong Kong Government has published a paper responding to recommendations made by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) on proposed changes to discrimination law.
In March 2013 the EOC launched the Discrimination Law Review (DLR) to comprehensively review all 4 anti-discrimination Ordinances in force in Hong Kong. In March 2016, the EOC made its submissions to the Government containing a total of 73 recommendations. The Government has now responded to those recommendations and has identified 9 specific recommendations that it considers to be capable of driving consensus and being taken forward. These recommendations are, broadly:
- To introduce express provisions prohibiting direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of breastfeeding/expressing milk;
- To amend provisions in the Race Discrimination Ordinance that prohibit direct discrimination on the ground of race of a 'near relative' to replace near relative with a wider definition of 'associate' and to include direct race discrimination by perception;
- To expand the scope of protection from secual, disability and racial harassment such as between persons in a common workplace; and
- To repeal provisions which require proof of intention to discriminate in order to obtain damages for indirect discrimination.
The Government is seeking views on the recommendations and will then consider further how to take them forward. However, with a new Government under newly elected Chief Executive Carrie Lam due to form on 1 July it is likely that substantive change is some way off.