Civic Party Margaret Ng and Medeleine Mok attended
The United Nation Hearing on Racial Discrimination at Geneva
Civic Party legislator Margaret Ng and representative Medeleine Mok were part of the Joint Hong Kong NGOs delegates taking part in the United Nation Hearing on Racial Discrimination at Geneva. They met on 6 August with 14 members of the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the hour-long briefing, they reported to CERD problems encountered in Hong Kong relating to the Race Discrimination Ordinance.
In the formal hearing, CERD Committee member Ion Diaconu, from Romania, questioned why not all government functions are covered under the law. While states often enact anti-discrimination laws that exclude private acts, Diaconu pointed out that it was possibly the first time the Committee had become aware of a state wanting to exclude government acts from the protection of the law. He expected the full range of human rights to be addressed and said the RDO should ensure non-discrimination in the enjoyment of all the rights. Now that the law had been enacted, it should be completed, he stressed. Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos from Greece, who is the CERD rapporteur for China’s report, also queried the objective and purpose of exclusion acts of the RDO, on the grounds of immigration status, citizenship, and nationality.
Other topics raised for discussion included new arrivals from the mainland, education and language discrimination, and discriminatory attitudes by the Hong Kong police. The Committee will continue its consideration of China’s state report on Monday morning and the Hong Kong Government delegation is expected to provide response to these questions and concerns.