The Hong Kong government gazetted the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2020 (the "Bill") on 31 January 2020. The Bill is aimed at providing breastfeeding women with protection from harassment by amending the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 480) ("SDO") to make it unlawful for a person to harass a breastfeeding woman.
The Bill takes into account views received during the scrutiny of the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 gazetted in November 2018, which (amongst other amendments) had proposed express provisions in the SDO to make discrimination on the ground of breastfeeding unlawful.
The proposed amendments under the Bill are as follows:
- To expand the definition of "harass" in the SDO to comprise both sexual harassment and harassment of breastfeeding women;
- To add a new section to the SDO setting out the meaning of harassment of a woman on the ground that the woman is breastfeeding; and
- To amend certain provisions in the SDO that only refer to sexual harassment so that such provisions apply in relation to both sexual harassment and harassment of breastfeeding women.
The Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council for First and Second Reading on 12 February 2020.
See the gazetted Bill here: https://www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20202405/es3202024052.pdf
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