Racial Equality and the Law: Creating an Effective Statute and Enforcement Model for Hong Kong
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 3, p. 459, 2004
Posted: 29 Aug 2006
The Hong Kong government has commenced a public consultation exercise on a bill to prohibit racial discrimination, which is expected to be introduced in the Legislative Council in early 2005. The government has proposed to model the bill on the existing Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO). While there are advantages to adopting a familiar format, the author argues that the SDO and DDO can be improved upon, in particular, that a more flexible definition of indirect discrimination should be adopted and that special provisions be drafted to address discrimination against new immigrants from Mainland China. The author takes the view that this is an opportune time to strengthen the enforcement model for all of Hong Kong's anti-discrimination laws. The author proposes that officers at the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) be empowered to take a more proactive approach and that a specialist equal opportunities tribunal should be established outside the auspices of the EOC.
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