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Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality in HK CHAN Cheung Ming Alfred Ph.D JP WONG Hon Yui Eric MSocSc Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing.

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Presentation on theme: "Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality in HK CHAN Cheung Ming Alfred Ph.D JP WONG Hon Yui Eric MSocSc Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality in HK CHAN Cheung Ming Alfred Ph.D JP WONG Hon Yui Eric MSocSc Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS), Lingnan University, HK

2 Outline 1.Background 2.Racial discrimination in HK 3.Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality 4.Conclusion

3 Background Statistics of Ethnic Minorities 310,911 non-Chinese people in 2001(exclude British & Japanese). Around 5% of the total population in HK. 52% (180,000) were domestic helpers Filipino (46%); Indonesian (16%); Indian (6%); Thai (4.6%); Nepalese (4%) & Pakistani (3.5%)  Local Authority Act (UK) 4% of ethnic minority population qualifies for Section 11 monies (Source: 2001 census, HKSAR)

4 Racial discrimination in HK Past researches and surveys conducted by the HAB 96/97 survey stated that it was not a serious problem in HK survey revealed that the majority of respondents did not accept racial discrimination in areas of school admission, pay, employment renting accommodation (ranging from 60% to around 90%). Acceptance of having a friend, colleague or superior (ranging from 85% to over 96%).

5 Racial discrimination in HK Past researches and surveys conducted by NGOs (Human Rights Monitor, SOCO, Asian Migrants Centre, ethnic respondents) Racial discrimination in HK is serious, particularly in areas of (1) Work and employment; (2) Accommodation and renting house; (3) Utilization of resources (e.g. public health, public transport, social services, etc); (4) Education; (5) Friendship & Marriage.

6 Racial discrimination in HK 2004 Survey conducted by APIAS & Oxfam It revealed four major findings (N=512): (1) HK people’s discrimination towards ethnic minorities was significant (23.5% agree). (2) People had negative perception over ethnic minorities (60.4% agree). (3) 40.9% supported the introduction of legislation to prohibit racial discrimination; while (46.7% disagree). (4) 73% supported government / NGOs to provide “positive discrimination” for ethnic minorities; while (12% disagree)

7 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality The idea of positive discrimination (AA) Established by Parker (1975), as a general principle in social services provision. It means a recognition that ethnic minorities have disproportionate problems, demanding the appropriate attention. “Equal but different” It could entail policies which give priority to a group, because of the nature and extent of the group’s disadvantage. AA can be illegal – a form of discrimination e.g. US Supreme Court Case: Bakke Vs U. of California 1978  legislation

8 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality Principles in positive discrimination (1)Equal opportunity (but from different social positions) in accessing the services. (2)Culturally favorable to attract ethnic minority groups. (e.g. own language, food) (3)Addressing on the specific needs of ethnic minority groups. (Mainstream services modified or new separatist services) (4)Mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of the social services (with a built-in action research).

9 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality Areas that the NGOs could do Education Services (formal, informal) (a) To maintain native tongues (b) To provide Chinese/English learning class to help ethnic minorities’ children to overcome language barriers. (c) To expand the Cantonese learning class to older immigrants (d) social rights awareness classes

10 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality Areas that the NGOs could do Employment (a)strengthen the links with government to improve the availability and accessibility of employment services & training for ethnic minorities. (b)Employ ethnic minority workers (c)Provide employment training

11 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality Areas that the NGOs could do Utilization of public resources (a)NGOs can help in improving the accessibility of information (teach them how to apply for public rental housing; help them to access to relevant information). (b)Encourage them to consult social/community workers for assistance. (c)Make health & social services accessible

12 Roles of NGOs in facilitating racial equality Areas that the NGOs could do Promoting Social solidarity (a)implement more programs to promote social solidarity in community (e.g. cross-ethnic solidarity, AKWASSC’s caring index to measure the social solidarity in community). (b)Provide the locals with anti-racist training, run racial integration projects

13 Conclusion Legislation is one of the way to combat racial discrimination, but may not be effective or enough. NGOs can take a more proactive role in integrating ethnic minorities into the majorities, putting emphasize on their specific needs. Every body in society should aware that multiculturalism is both a valuable asset and a positive indicator of an advanced society.


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