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「歧視條例檢討」及反歧視LGBTI法例之研究

2015/10/13 — 10:50

彩虹旗被稱作「LGBT 驕傲旗」、「同志驕傲旗」,是一面象徵性少數群體的旗幟。 ( 圖片來源: Theodoranian @ wikipedia )

彩虹旗被稱作「LGBT 驕傲旗」、「同志驕傲旗」,是一面象徵性少數群體的旗幟。 ( 圖片來源: Theodoranian @ wikipedia )

去年大約這個時候,平機會進行了「歧視條例檢討」及委託進行了「有關立法禁止性傾向、性別認同及雙性人身份歧視的可行性研究」(「可行性研究」),在社會引起軒然大波。大家也許還會對此歷歷在目。

其中值得留意的,是有人在網上散播謠言,例如有傳平機會提倡居港未滿七年的新移民有投票權。這明顯是錯誤的資訊,平機會從來沒有作出如此的提議。當快到提交意見書截止日期時,大量意見書湧至,導致平機會的系統故障。平機會要向媒體作出澄清,並延遲了諮詢限期。[1]

香港現有四條反歧視條例,分別為《性別歧視條例》(第480章)、《殘疾歧視條例》(第487章)、《家庭崗位歧視條例》(第527章)和《種族歧視條例》(第602章)。

廣告

「歧視條例檢討」是對現時反歧視條例的全面檢討,包括提議仿效英國的做法,將以上所述四條條例合併為一條綜合條例,並增加禁止的歧視理由,例如事實婚姻、居民身份等。

另外,平機會委託了香港中文大學香港亞太研究所性別研究中心進行「可行性研究」,旨在針對LGBTI(Lesbian女同性戀者 、 Gay男同性戀者、Bisexual 雙性戀者、Transgender 跨性別人士、Intersex 雙性人)在香港遭受歧視但缺乏保障的問題。

廣告

平機會在2015年9月17日發出的新聞稿宣佈計劃於2016年年初向政府提交一份有關「歧視條例檢討」的建議報告,而「可行性研究」之報告將於2015年年底向公眾發表。[2A]

法政匯思將會密切留意此兩個項目的進展,並於有需要時作出回應。

我們同時注意到,一個開放民主的社會,固然應當珍惜言論自由,然而大家行使這自由時亦須謹慎。我們希望網民避免魯莽地地處理網上的資料,避免散播不實的傳言。每個人都應該不被誤導,亦同時不應故意或魯莽地誤導別人。

少數族裔的就業與教育機會

隨著新學年的開始,所有學生都也回到學校,包括屬於少數族裔的學生。在香港,少數族裔學生一直以來,無論在升學或就業方面都因為語言障礙而遇到很大的挑戰,而教育局亦於2015年夏季宣佈了一些新措施為非華語學生提供課後支援。最近一個研究顯示七成的非學位課程被評為不適合非華語學生,少數族裔於升學方面的選擇比本地廣東話學生要少得多。

新家園協會的調查顯示九成的少數族裔受訪者視香港為家。但調查亦顯示他們在香港求職時面對極大挑戰,除了因為語言障礙之外,更因為固有的歧視。很多僱主都偏向聘用華人,因為他們認為華人比少數族裔更了解本地文化。

不論其族裔,在港的少數族裔的教育都不應被忽略,而其就業機會亦不該被削弱。香港政府,僱主及廣大市民都有責任幫助少數族裔融入社會,因為大家不論膚色都是香港人。

鐵窗後的歧視

社民連陳德章因向財爺擲蛋而被判監三星期,出獄後提出兩項司法覆核,要求覆核懲教署之決定。第一是署方純粹以囚犯膚色為由作出之不同膳食安排:黃皮膚吃中餐,白皮膚及黑皮膚吃西餐,而享用不同餐的囚犯不能共坐。第二是署方有關外借書藉上限之規定:囚犯每月能從獄外獲得六本書,而宗教書藉卻不受限制。陳指署方上述安排違反《基本法》、《種族歧視條例》及《經濟、社會及文化權利公約》[3][4]。

此前,一名跨性別女性囚犯也提出過司法覆核,指懲教署對跨性別囚犯的安排構成殘忍、不人道或侮辱之處遇,違反《香港人權法案》。申請人接受賀爾蒙治療多年,以維持其女性身體特徽,更打算於將來接受變性手術。在囚其間,署方卻視她與其他男性無異,讓男警及男懲教人員替她搜身,更曾禁止她繼續賀爾蒙療程數月[5]。

《香港人權法案》的確允許法律以指定理由對受合法被拘禁人士的部份權利施以限制,卻不表示這些限制能夠任意產生而不受監管。事實上,平等及免於歧視的權利,作為一項基本人權,是穿越鐵窗的。

難民權益

見到難民紛紛湧入德國,你會否擔心過、恐懼過其他國家陸沉?只有查看難民定義,就會明白只有相當極端的情況,難民才可停留定居於別的國家。而這些定義都是為了保護任何人,不論是否黃皮膚黑頭髮,都可以有基本的生存權利。難民被定義為「因有正當理由畏懼由於種族、宗教、國籍、屬於其一社會團體或具有某種政治見解的原因留在其本國之外,並且由於此項畏懼而不能或不願受該國保護的人;或者不具有國籍並由於上述事情留在他以前經常居住國家以外而現在不能或者由於上述畏懼不願返回該國的人。」

香港的難民權益普遍不被重視:香港並未簽署聯合國1951年《關於難民地位公約》及1967年《關於難民地位的議定書》,比中國大陸更落後,香港在這方面的人權保障都唯有倚賴法庭。FB v. Director of Immigration [2009] 2 HKLRD 346一案裁定,之前用於審查《禁止酷刑公約》申請的機制並未達到公正標準,迫使政府改革其審查制度。其他案件則要求政府向申請人提供律師代表、個案審查完結前不得驅返申請人、必須依法審核每個申請人的個案等。

2013年7月,政府在立法會保安事務委員會公布了採用統一審核機制的計劃。統一審核機制將用於審查基於以下三項理由提出的不驅回申請:(a) 《聯合國禁止酷刑和其他殘忍、不人道或有辱人格的待遇或處罰公約》中定義的酷刑;(b)《香港人權法案》第3條限定的酷刑和其他殘忍、不人道或有辱人格的待遇或處罰[6];和/或 (c) 1951年《關於難民地位公約》第33條原則規定的迫害。

《聯合國禁止酷刑和其他殘忍、不人道或有辱人格的待遇或處罰公約》界定酷刑申請為「為了向某人或第三者取得情報或供狀,為了他或第三者所作或涉嫌的行為對他加以處罰,或為了恐嚇或威脅他或第三者,或為了基於任何一種歧視的任何理由,蓄意使某人在肉體或精神上遭受劇烈疼痛或痛苦的任何行為,而這種疼痛或痛苦是由公職人員或以官方身份行使職權的其他人所造成或在其唆使、同意或默許下造成的。」

《香港人權法案》第3條指任何人不得施以酷刑,或予以殘忍、不人道或侮辱之處遇或懲罰。

1951年《關於難民地位公約》第33條定明任何締約國不得以任何方式將難民驅逐或送回至其生命或自由因為他的種族、宗教、國籍、參加某一社會團體或具有某種政治見解而受威脅的領土邊界。


 

[1]網上謠傳修理  新移民可投票  激發市民炸爆平機會伺服器,《蘋果日報》,2014年10月7日

[2] 平機會匯報工作計劃及進度,2015年9月17日

[3] Jailed politician files judicial reviews on ‘racially discriminatory arrangement’ in prison, Hong Kong Free Press, 21 August 2015,

[4] Two years after hurling egg, convicted Hong Kong democracy activist challenges prison book limit, South China Morning Post, 21 August 2015

[5] Transgender woman takes Hong Kong police, prison officers to court over all-men detention ordeal, South China Morning Post, 14 June 2015 

 [6]  Ubamaka v the Secretary for Security [2013] 2 HKC 75

 

文章來自【平權及反歧視通訊期刊】法政匯E第二期 

 Progressive Lawyers Group Equality and Anti-discrimination Newsletter – Issue 2

Discrimination Law Review and Study on Anti-discrimination Law for LGBTI

At about this time last year, the Equal Opportunities Commission (the “EOC”) conducted the Discrimination Law Review (the “DLR”) and the Feasibility Study on Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status (the “Study”), prompting social controversy.

One notable phenomenon was that false rumours were being spread online, such as the - entirely untrue - allegation that the EOC had suggested new immigrants would have the right to vote even when they had not resided in Hong Kong for 7 years. Numerous submissions were made which ultimately led to the breakdown of the submission system near the original deadline for submissions. These developments prompted the EOC to issue clarifications to the media and extend the deadline for submissions.[1]

Currently, there are four anti-discrimination ordinances in Hong Kong, namely the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 480), the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 487), the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 527), and the Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 602).

The DLR was a comprehensive review of the current anti-discrimination regime. The proposals it considered included the merger of the four existing ordinances into a single consolidated ordinance, following the lead of the United Kingdom, and the addition of further prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as residency status or being in a de facto relationship. The Study - commissioned by the EOC and conducted by the Gender Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia Pacific Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong - targeted the glaring absence of legal protection from discrimination for Hong Kong’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) community.

By a press release on 17 September 2015, the EOC announced that it plans to submit a report with its recommendations following the DLR to the Government in early 2016. The report resulting from the Study will be released to the public around the end of 2015.[2]

The Progressive Lawyers Group will keep a close eye on the progress of these two projects, and will make appropriate responses when necessary.

On a side note, although freedom of expression ought to be cherished in a open and democratic society, it is also important to emphasise that the enjoyment of this freedom comes with responsibility. We hope that netizens will refrain from processing information online recklessly, and refrain from spreading false rumours. It is vital that one not be misled, and to refrain from actively misleading others, whether wilfully or recklessly.

Career and learning opportunities for Ethnic Minorities

The school year has started, and all students are now back to school, including ethnic minority students. Although the Education Bureau announced new measures in the summer of 2015 to provide after-school support for non-Chinese-speaking students, the language barrier has remained a big challenge to educational or career advancement for ethnic minority students. A recent study showed that 70 per cent of non-degree courses were unsuitable for non-Chinese speakers. The choices for members of ethnic minorities are far more limited than those available to Cantonese-speaking Hongkongers.

A survey by the New Home Association of ethnic minority residents in Hong Kong showed that 90 per cent of interviewees viewed Hong Kong as home. However, the survey also showed that respondents encountered tremendous difficulties in getting employment because of the language barrier, as well as racial discrimination. Employers in Hong Kong tend to employ ethnic Chinese because they assume that ethnic Chinese have a better understanding of the local culture than members of ethnic minorities.

The education of members of ethnic minorities must not be neglected and their career opportunities in Hong Kong must not be undermined. The government, employers and all fellow citizens all share a responsibility to help them fulfil their potential as fellow Hongkongers.

Discrimination Behind Bars

Derek Chan Tak-cheung, secretary general of the League of Social Democrats who was imprisoned for three weeks after egging the Financial Secretary, filed two applications for judicial review of decisions made by the Correctional Services Department (the “CSD”). He claimed that the following treatment and regulations violated the Basic Law, Race Discrimination Ordinance and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: (1) Differential catering treatment solely based on inmates’ skin colour and the separation of “Chinese” and “Western” prisoners; and (2) The limit on number of non-religious books a prisoner could receive per month, a limit from which religious books are exempted [3][4].

Months before, a transgender inmate also applied for judicial review of the CSD’s treatment of transgender prisoners. The inmate, a biological male who had been undergoing hormone therapy for several years and intended to complete her sex-reassignment surgery later, was treated by the CSD as a male prisoner and strip-searched by male officers. Her request to continue receiving hormone therapy was also denied for several months. The inmate alleged that the CSD had engaged in inhumane and degrading treatment, which is prohibited, in any circumstances, under the Hong Kong Bill of Rights [5].

Although the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance permits the rights of lawfully detained persons to be restricted by law in order to serve particular aims, such restrictions cannot be arbitrary or immune from scrutiny. The right to equality and non-discrimination, as a fundamental human right, remains in full force behind prison bars. 

Rights of refugees

Did you feel a sense of apprehension on seeing news stories about scores of refugees fleeing for Germany? The definition of refugee means that only extreme circumstances will allow them to remain in other countries. Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."

The rights of refugees and asylum seekers are generally not taken seriously in Hong Kong. The government has not even signed the United Nations 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, instruments that even Mainland China has signed. As a result, refugees have turned to the courts for redress. In FB v. Director of Immigration [2009] 2 HKLRD 346, the Court declared the existing screening mechanism not up to the legally required standard of fairness and thus ordered the government to adjust its mechanisms. In other cases, claimants fought for other rights including the right to legal representation, the right not to be expelled, returned or extradited when applying for a torture claim, and the right to have their claim assessed according to law.

In July 2013, the Government announced a new Unified Screening Mechanism for applications relating to asylum (the “USM”). The USM assesses the applicant’s non-refoulement claims based on (a) risks of torture under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the CAT Convention); (b) rights under Article 3 in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights against any torture, other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment [6]; and (c) risks of persecution under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Article 33.

Torture is defined in the CAT Convention as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

Article 3 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights states that no one shall be subjected to torture or the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention requires that no Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

 

[1]網上謠傳修理  新移民可投票  激發市民炸爆平機會伺服器,《蘋果日報》,2014年10月7日

[2] 平機會匯報工作計劃及進度,2015年9月17日

[3] Jailed politician files judicial reviews on ‘racially discriminatory arrangement’ in prison, Hong Kong Free Press, 21 August 2015,

[4] Two years after hurling egg, convicted Hong Kong democracy activist challenges prison book limit, South China Morning Post, 21 August 2015

[5] Transgender woman takes Hong Kong police, prison officers to court over all-men detention ordeal, South China Morning Post, 14 June 2015 

 [6]  Ubamaka v the Secretary for Security [2013] 2 HKC 75

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