Report on Study on Ethnic Minorities' Awareness and Satisfaction towards Selected Public Services released
To better understand the use of public services by ethnic minorities, the Special Needs Groups Task Force under the CoP commissioned a research team from Policy 21 and the University of Hong Kong in December 2016 to conduct a study on ethnic minorities' awareness and satisfaction towards four major public services, namely the services provided by the Employees Retraining Board, the Home Affairs Department, the Labour Department and the Social Welfare Department, and to offer recommendations for improvement.
Through focus groups and interviews, the Study interviewed a total of 179 stakeholders, including people from ethnic minorities and academics, and representatives from the Support Service Centres for Ethnic Minorities, non-governmental organisations, concern groups, government departments and public bodies.
The research team noted in the report that the relevant government departments and public body had been actively improving their services for ethnic minorities in recent years. The team said it was also encouraging to learn that some services were enhanced without provision of additional resources. Nevertheless, the Study indicated that there is room for improvement in respect of the efforts made by the relevant government departments and public body in promoting social integration, understanding the needs of ethnic minorities, promotion of services, translation and interpretation services, and building long-term relationships and mutual trust with ethnic minorities. A total of 12 recommendations were put forward by the Study. Major recommendations include:
- To provide more resources for various non-governmental organisations to better utilise their networks to build mutual trust with ethnic minorities, organise more activities to facilitate ethnic minorities' integration into society, strengthen interpretation services and support for new arrivals and enhance contractual arrangements for the Support Service Centres for Ethnic Minorities;
- To regularly review and enhance the performance indicators on the provision of services to ethnic minorities, in order to better evaluate the effectiveness of services; and
- To strengthen collaboration between the government departments and public body concerned in promoting services for ethnic minorities and step up publicity on the enhancement measures introduced in recent years.
Commenting on the recommendations, the Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the CoP, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The Government attaches great importance to the well-being of ethnic minorities and is concerned about the issues raised in the Study. Hong Kong is home to ethnic minority people, who have taken root here. The Government has all along been facilitating their integration into society through support measures in different areas. In view of the findings and recommendations of the Study, bureaux and departments concerned will continue to improve their existing services and explore new measures to enhance ethnic minorities' awareness and use of public services." He stressed that, as announced in the 2018-19 Budget, the Government will set up a steering committee, to be led by himself, to enhance collaboration within the Government on support for ethnic minorities and to co-ordinate, review and monitor work in this area. The Budget has also earmarked $500 million to strengthen support for ethnic minorities.
The full bilingual report has been uploaded to the CoP's website (www.povertyrelief.gov.hk) for public viewing. The executive summary is also available in six ethnic minority languages (Tagalog, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Nepali and Urdu) for ethnic minorities' reference.
Ends/Monday, March 12, 2018
Issued at HKT 10:00
Issued at HKT 10:00