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【平權及反歧視通訊期刊】法政匯E 第一期

2015/6/15 — 17:15

《 法政匯E:第一期 》

為推廣平權及消除社會上各式各樣的歧視,法政匯思特意設立通訊期刊《法政匯E》(E代表Equality,即平等),探視社會上的平權及歧視議題,希望能夠引起公眾關注平權背後的法律及政治問題。

 

廣告

“第七條 -法律之前人人平等,並有權享受法律的平等保護,不受任何歧視。人人有權享受平等保護,以免受違反本宣言的任何歧視行為以及煽動這種歧視的任何行為之害。

《世界人權宣言》

廣告

責怪受害者

近日香港發生的兩件事,均反映出社會上部份掌握權力優勢的人,慣於將責任推向被歧視的受害者身上。第一件事,是葛珮帆議員提議設立智障人士名冊,要智障人士自願登記,以避免執法人員「好人當賊辦」;第二件事,是陳志全議員在港鐵被人就其性傾向作出侮辱後,《頭條日報》社論竟然稱其為「自作自受」、「自食其果」。就這兩件事件,法政匯思都有發表短評予以譴責[1] [2]

簡單來說,兩件事件都反映著部分人認為,一個人因為自己的身份特徵而被不公對待(例如殘疾和性傾向),責任是在於那個人自己身上。我們認爲人人生而平等,即使一個人身份特徵與主流社會的其他人不盡相同,都不應該構成一種罪責,要被所謂的主流如此欺壓。

聯署運動反恐同

恐同(homophobia),即對同性戀者的恐懼或憎恨。港鐵阿姐辱罵陳志全事件後,由歌手何韻詩和黃耀明成立的「大愛同盟」等同志友善團體發起了網上聯署,題為「向恐同仇恨說不!」,邀請個人及團體支持,敦促政府就性傾向歧視立法。法政匯思亦為聯署組織之一。

聯署網頁:http://goo.gl/forms/P8GT0pKQIu

護老院涉嫌虐老事件

生老病死是人生必經階段,我們誰會希望,辛勤大半生後,晚年卻遭到旁人的虐待,及社會的冷落?

大埔一護老院爆出涉嫌將長者脫至全裸在露天天台等洗澡的事件。香港平等機會委員會已於2015年5月27日發表聲明,指出其行徑可能觸犯《性別歧視條例》中性騷擾的條文[3]

法政匯思敦促社會各界尊重每一個人的固有尊嚴,包括長者、殘疾人士、缺乏自理能力的人士等,並促請政府加強執法,防止類似的事件再發生。

聯合國人權理事會就性傾向及性別認同歧視及暴力的報告

聯合國人權事務高級專員於2015年5月4日向人權理事會呈交報告[4],匯報世界各地基於性傾向及性別認同的歧視及暴力。報告提到世界各地的歧視深入各個範疇,包括醫療、教育、就業、房屋、言論集結自由、庇護及移民、家庭及社區、伴侶身份承認及社會福利,以及性別認同。

報告亦向各國政府提出20點建議,包括訂立仇恨罪行法、訓練法官及執法人員應對相關的侵犯、取締「拗直治療」、禁止應用無醫學需要的程序於雙性兒童身上、將各方同意的同性性行為去刑事化、設立反歧視法、承認同性伴侶關係及他們的子女,確保平等福利、提升公眾教育等等。

香港對不同性傾向和性別認同的人士的保障乏善足陳。港府要到何時才聽到,埋沒在社會壓迫中的呼聲?

平權小知識:世界人權宣言

鑑於對人類家庭所有成員的固有尊嚴及其平等的和不移的權利的承認,乃是世界自由、正義與和平的基礎,

鑑於對人權的無視和侮蔑已發展為野蠻暴行,這些暴行玷污了人類的良心…

第一條
人人生而自由,在尊嚴和權利上一律平等。他們賦有理性和良心,並應以兄弟關係的精神相對待。

節錄自《世界人權宣言》

第二次世界大戰期間,發生了種種殘暴不仁的事。很多時候,這些暴行都是針對某一個族群所作的,例如納粹德軍屠殺猶太人及同性戀者,日軍屠殺中國人等。二戰的全球死亡人數超過6千萬。

這是一段人類不堪回首,但卻應刻骨銘心的回憶。

二戰後,國際社會汲取了這段殘暴歷史的教訓,共同訂立了《世界人權宣言》,於1948年12月10日在聯合國大會通過。序言的第一句,清楚列明人類「固有尊嚴」及「平等和不移的權利」兩個概念。

及後,為了進一步落實對人權以及平等權利的保障,聯合國相繼通過《公民權利及政治權利國際公約》、《經濟、社會、文化權利國際公約》、《消除一切形式種族歧視國際公約》、《消除對婦女一切形式歧視公約》、《殘疾人權利公約》等各具法律約束力的公約。

時至今天,《世界人權宣言》訂立已快將七個十年,不同的國際公約也落實了數十年,各社會對落實平權及消除歧視的成果,是否能夠令人滿意?

➢  在美國,非白人佔全國人口只有少於38%,但2015年頭五個月裡,被警方殺死的人當中,超過46%都是非白人。被殺的黑人中,31.9%根本沒有持武器,是白人沒有持武器卻被殺比例(15.0%)的兩倍以上。[5]

➢  在2011年,全球89%的成年男人有讀寫能力,但女性比男性低9%;其中性別差異嚴重的地區包括阿拉伯國家(男85%:女68%),南及西亞洲(男74%:女52%),及非洲下撒哈拉地區(男68%:女51%)[6]

➢  全球最少76個國家仍然將同性性行為訂為罪行,最少5個國家可處以死刑[7]

香港的情況又如何?

➢  2014年5-6月,男性每月工資中位數為$16,500,但是女性為$12,700[8]。事實上,在2013/14學年,修讀大學教資會資助課程的女性佔53.7%,比男性多7.4%。[9]

➢  香港現時有四條反歧視條例,分別為《性別歧視條例》、《家庭崗位歧視條例》、《殘疾歧視條例》,及《種族歧視條例》,但《種族歧視條例》不涵蓋政府在執行職能和行使權利時作出的歧視。

➢  香港法律不承認任何同性伴侶關係,也就是說同性伴侶不能享有異性伴侶組織家庭及其附帶的所有權利。香港也沒有任何針對性傾向及性別認同歧視的法律。

從宏觀的角度看世界,看香港,不難發現數據上、制度上、客觀事實上,我們似乎仍與理想差距甚遠。然而,這些也許只能反映社會不公的冰山一角,更多社交之間、職場上、言語之間,或者潛意識裡的歧視,難以用數據衡量,卻又確確實實存在於我們之中。

 

法政匯思

2015年6月15日

 

[1] 錯的到底是誰?,2015年5月26日,https://www.thestandnews.com/society/錯的到底是誰

[2] 頭條日報社論  令人齒冷,2015年6月3日,https://thestandnews.com/politics/頭條日報社論-令人齒冷

[3] 平機會就護老院涉嫌虐老發出聲明,2015年5月27日,平等機會委員會,http://www.eoc.org.hk/eoc/GraphicsFolder/ShowContent.aspx?ItemID=13064

[4]Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, United Nations Human Rights Council, 4 May 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session29/Documents/A_HRC_29_23_en.doc

[5] Black Americans killed by police twice as likely to be unarmed as white people, The guardian, 1 Jun 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis

[6] Adult and Youth Literacy – National, regional and global trends, 1986-2015, pp8-9, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/literacy-statistics-trends-1985-2015.pdf

[7] Fact Sheet – Criminalization, Free & Equal, United Nations, https://www.unfe.org/system/unfe-43-UN_Fact_Sheets_-_FINAL_-_Criminalization_(1).pdf

[8] 2014 Report on Annual Earnings and Hours Survey, Census and Statistics Department, p5, http://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B10500142014AN14B0100.pdf

[9] Women and Men in Hong Kong Statistics 2014, Census and Statistics Department, p70, http://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11303032014AN14B0100.pdf

 

Progressive Lawyers Group equality and anti-discrimination newsletter – Issue 1

To promote equality and eliminate discrimination in Hong Kong, the Progressive Lawyers Group is launching this newsletter to explore issues related to equality and discrimination and to enhance public awareness on the legal and political problems behind equality.

Prelude

“Article 7 - All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Victim-blaming

Two incidents that took place recently in Hong Kong showed that some of those who are in power habitually shift the blame onto victims of discrimination. The first incident relates to a proposal made by legislative councillor Elizabeth Quat to set up a register to record information of persons with intellectual disabilities, with the alleged aim of preventing wrongful arrests by law enforcement agencies. The second incident relates to Headline Daily’s ludicrous comment on the verbal assault against legislative councillor Raymond Chan based on his sexual orientation. With reference to the assault, Headline Daily’s editorial astonishingly commented that Mr. Chan deserved to be treated this way. The Progressive Lawyers Group has earlier released statements condemning the incidents[1] [2].

The two incidents reflect that there are some people in Hong Kong who are of the view that if a person experiences discrimination based on his or her personal attributes (e.g. disability and sexual orientation), it is the fault of that person. We, on the other hand, are of the view that all persons are equal and it is certainly not a crime for a person to possess features that are different from mainstream society and most certainly should not be bullied for them.

Joint Statement on Homophobia

Homophobia means fear or hatred towards homosexuals. Since the verbal assault incident, BigLove Alliance (a group set up by singers Denise Ho Wan-see and Anthony Wong Yiu-ming), together with other gay-friendly organisations, launched an online joint statement entitled “Say No to Homophobia!” urging the Government to enact anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation.

The joint statement is open to all individuals and organisations to sign (the statement is at http://goo.gl/forms/P8GT0pKQIu).  

Abuse of Elderly in Elderly Home

Aging is inevitable, but it is certainly the case that no one would want to spend their twilight years being abused and abandoned by society.

There was a recent incident involving staff of an elderly home in Tai Po who allegedly stripped residents naked in an open terrace before the residents were taken to the indoor shower.  With reference to the incident, the Equal Opportunities Commission issued a statement on 27 May 2015 saying that such action could be a breach of the sexual harassment provisions under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance[3].

The Progressive Lawyers Group urges that the dignity of every person (including the elderly, people with disability and people who are incapable of self-care) should be respected and that the Government should strengthen the enforcement of the relevant laws to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future.

United Nations Human Rights Council's Report on Discrimination and Violence against Individuals based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On 4 May 2015, the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights submitted a report to the Human Rights Council on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity around the world[4]. The report revealed that discrimination is experienced on all fronts around the world, including health care, education, employment, housing, rights to assembly and expression, asylum and migration, family and community, recognition of same-sex relationships as well as recognition of gender identity.

The report also made 20 recommendations to different governments, including enacting hate crime laws relating to homophobia, training law enforcement personnel and judges in addressing violations related to sexual orientation and gender identity, banning “conversion” therapy, prohibiting medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children, revising criminal laws to remove offences relating to consensual same-sex conduct, providing legal recognition to same-sex couples and their children and ensuring they receive equal benefits, and enhancing public education.

The protection afforded to people with different sexual orientation and gender identity in Hong Kong is wholly inadequate. When will the Government hear the voice of those who are socially oppressed?

Equality Tips: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have" resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind…

Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

During the Second World War, all manner of brutal atrocities took place. Such atrocities were often committed against a particular group of people, such as the mass murder of Jews and homosexuals by the Nazis and of Chinese people by Japanese soldiers. Over 60 million people were killed during WWII.

This history was painful, but it also left an indelible mark.

After WWII, the international community learned a lesson from this brutal history and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. In the first sentence of its Preamble, it clearly sets out the concepts of “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights” of mankind.

Subsequently, to protect human rights and equality further, the United Nations passed a series of legally binding international conventions, which included the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It will soon be the 70th year since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was first adopted. It has also been several decades since the other international conventions were adopted. How satisfied are we with the results achieved in terms of equality and discrimination?

➢  In the United States, non-white Americans make up only 38% of the population but 46% of people killed by the police in the first five months of 2015 were non-white Americans. Among the black Americans who were killed during this period, 31.9% of them were unarmed. Black Americans are also more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as whites (only 15%)[5].

➢  In 2011, globally, 89% of men were literate while female literacy rate is 9% lower. The gap was especially large in Arab States (male rate of 85% vs. female rate of 68%), South and West Asia (male rate of 74% vs. female rate of 52%) and sub-Saharan Africa (male rate of 68% vs. female rate of 51%)[6].

➢  There are still at least 76 countries that criminalise same-sex relationships and in at least five countries, death penalty can be imposed[7].

How about Hong Kong?

➢  In May and June 2014, the median monthly wage for male employees was HK$16,500, compared to HK$12,700 for female employees. In fact, for the academic year of 2013/14, the percentage share of female students who were enrolled in programmes funded by University Grants Committee was 53.7%[8] (7.4% more than male students)[9].

➢  There are currently four pieces of anti-discrimination legislation in Hong Kong, namely, the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, and the Race Discrimination Ordinance. However, the Race Discrimination is the only piece of legislation that does not cover discrimination exercised by the Government in the performance of its functions or exercise of its powers.  

➢  Hong Kong law does not recognise same-sex relationships, which means that same-sex couples are not afforded the same rights to have family and other associated benefits as heterosexual couples. Hong Kong also does not have any anti-discrimination legislation based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Looking at the overall picture, it is not difficult to see that we are still very far off from the ideal of equality. Instances of discrimination can readily be found in many social settings, in the workplace, in conversation and even subconsciously in people’s minds. What we have discussed in this newsletter is only the tip of the iceberg. Whether one looks at the statistics, examines the institutional framework or investigates the objective facts, it is apparent that inequality still permeates our society.

Progressive Lawyers Group

15 June 2015

 

[1] 26 May 2015, Stand News - https://www.thestandnews.com/society/錯的到底是誰 (scroll down this link for English version)

[2] 3 June 2015, Stand News - https://thestandnews.com/politics/頭條日報社論-令人齒冷 (scroll down this link for English version)

[3] The EOC Issues Statement on Alleged Abuse of Elderly Residents in Nursing Home http://www.eoc.org.hk/eoc/GraphicsFolder/ShowContent.aspx?ItemID=13064

[4]Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, United Nations Human Rights Council, 4 May 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session29/Documents/A_HRC_29_23_en.doc

[5] Black Americans killed by police twice as likely to be unarmed as white people, The guardian, 1 Jun 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis

[6] Adult and Youth Literacy – National, regional and global trends, 1986-2015, pp8-9, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/literacy-statistics-trends-1985-2015.pdf

[7] Fact Sheet – Criminalization, Free & Equal, United Nations, https://www.unfe.org/system/unfe-43-UN_Fact_Sheets_-_FINAL_-_Criminalization_(1).pdf

[8] 2014 Report on Annual Earnings and Hours Survey, Census and Statistics Department, p5, http://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B10500142014AN14B0100.pdf

[9] Women and Men in Hong Kong Statistics 2014, Census and Statistics Department, p70, http://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11303032014AN14B0100.pdf

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

發表意見