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II. The Equal Opportunities Commission

The Equal Opportunities Commission is a statutory body set up in 1996 to implement the Sex Discrimination Ordinance ("SDO") , the Disability Discrimination Ordinance ("DDO") , the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance ("FSDO") and the Race Discrimination Ordinance ("RDO") in Hong Kong. It is an independent body and is publicly funded by the Government. Generally speaking, it works towards the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, disability, family status (in relation to those who need to take care of their family members) and race.

The Commission undertakes the following three major functions:

A. Investigation and Conciliation

  • it investigates complaints lodged under the SDO , the DDO , the FSDO and the RDO ;
  • it encourages reconciliation between parties in dispute;
  • it may provide assistance in respect of legal proceedings before the District Court (where reconciliation fails) if the complainant chooses to take his/her case to court; and
  • it initiates formal investigations that are in the public interest.

B. Legislation, Codes of Practice and Guidelines

C. Education and Promotion

  • the commission creates better understanding of discrimination and inequality through research and public education;
  • it coordinates and communicates with the Government and non-Government organizations on issues of equal opportunities.
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