The disability discrimination ordinance, the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and beyond: Achievements and challenges after ten years of Hong Kong anti-discrimination legislation

The enactment of the Hong Kong Disability Discrimination Ordinance in the mid-1990s was a significant step in efforts to ensure the enjoyment human rights for persons with disabilities in Hong Kong. The Ordinance, and the Equal Opportunities Commission established to promote and implement the legislation and helping to implement met with much criticism, from those concerned that it would have deleterious effects for Hong Kong, as well as from those concerned that it did not go far enough to address the disadvantage and exclusion suffered by persons with disabilities. Ten years of the legislation provides an opportunity to reflect on these concerns, the progress that has been made, and measures that may need to be taken to address new challenges, in the light of developments under comparable legislation in Australia and the United Kingdom. The adoption at the end of 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its likely ratification by China means there is a need to examine the possible implications of the Convention for Hong Kong disability law and practice. The paper concludes with a number of proposals for steps that should be to taken to review disability law and practice in Hong Kong as China moves towards ratification of the Convention.
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