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In Hong Kong, the ethnic minority community constitutes about 5% of its total population of 7.5 million.  The immigrant population is very diverse, and the most populous immigrant groups in Hong Kong are from India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  Owing to the difference in the customs, cultural, historical and linguistic background of other racial groups, this multi-culturalism has sometimes raised issues of prejudices and stereotypes.


Hong Kong is obliged under the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination, and to guarantee that the rights will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race or other status.


The protection of equality and non-discrimination in Hong Kong is enshrined in Article 25 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance (Cap 383).  The Government enacted the Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap 602) (‘RDO’) in July 2008, which has come into force since 10 July 2009, to protect people against discrimination, harassment, and vilification on the ground of their race.  The RDO is however limited in scope; it excludes the exercise of government functions and powers, for instance, and the term ‘ethnic minority’ as stipulated in the Ordinance only refers to non-Chinese minorities.





Journal Articles/Other Papers

Language Rights in Education: A Study of Hong Kong's Linguistic Minorities (November 2009) - by Sarah Carmichael

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? The Dilemma of Hong Kong's Draft Race Discrimination Legislation - by Kelley Loper

(2008) Hong Kong Law Journal 38, p 15

Race and Equality: A Study of Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong's Education System (February 2004) - by Kelley Loper

Book Chapters


"Right to Equality and Non-discrimination in Chan, JMM & Lim, CL., Law of the Hong Kong Constitution (Hong Kong: Sweet & Maxwell, 2011) 
- by Kelley Loper 

"The Application of the Anti-Discrimination Legislation" in Abate, D and Tran, H (Eds.), Discrimination law and practice in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Thomson Reuters, 2011), p 2.001-2.065 - by Kelley Loper

"Discrimination Law" in Glofcheski, R & Aslam, F (Eds.), Employment Law and Practice in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2010), p 303-360 - by Kelley Loper

Newspaper Articles

Hong Kong's 'Embarrassing' Racial Attitudes - by Te-Ping Chen

(23 March 2012) The Wall Street Journal

Government Submissions

Submission to the Legislative Council’s Panel on Constitutional Affairs on implementation and review of the Administrative Guidelines on Promotion of Racial Equality (23 January 2018) - by Puja Kapai

Submission to the UN Committee to End Racial Discrimination (CERD) (August 2009) - by Kelley Loper

Briefing on Hong Kong's Race Discrimination Bill to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (February 2008) - by Kelley Loper


Past & Upcoming Events

Conferences & Seminars

Promoting Racial Harmony? Hong Kong's Race Discrimination Bill in International and Comparative Perspective (31 March 2007)

Equal Opportunities, Disparate Impact, And Law against Racial Discrimination (26 January 2005)

Research Projects


Human Rights Action Plans 2012


CCPL’s Hong Kong Human Rights Action Plan consisted of all of the current recommendations to Hong Kong from UN human rights bodies. There were 145 recommendations dating back to 2005. While some of these recommendations have already been addressed, many still require attention and effective measures that come from better policy-making and new thinking. This Action Plan highlighted those human rights areas where Hong Kong is weak and it showed that it is the most vulnerable members of our society who are in need of protection. These include women, children, non-residents, ethnic minorities, asylum seekers, and human trafficking victims. It is here that Hong Kong falls below international standards.

The Human Rights Action Plan is an initiative from CCPL that aimed to promote public discussion of human rights in Hong Kong and better compliance with international human rights standards.


Faculty Expertise


Kelley-Loper (2).jpeg

Kelley Loper
Associate Professor


Puja Kapai
Associate Professor of Law

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