Equality watchdog chief says they won’t rule who is right or wrong in hair discrimination case

Hong Kong’s equality watchdog chief said on Thursday that they won’t rule who is right or wrong in the city’s latest case where a secondary five boy complaint about being forced by his school to have his hair cut.

The comments came after the student - Stanley Lam of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Fut Nam College filed a complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission, accusing his school of violating the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and ignoring issues relating to gender dysphoria.

Speaking on a radio program this morning, the commission’s executive director Ferrick Chu Chung-man said the discrimination ordinances’ purpose is to protect individual rights and interests, in which personal factors must be taken into consideration, as well as social values and legal requirements.

However, he refused to comment on any particular case, adding that the commission will not rule who is right or wrong in any of the cases they handle but resolve the cases through mediation.

Chu also said that the commission’s job is to help come to a solution where everyone benefits through mediation, adding that they have resolved 80 to 90 percent of disputes they heard.

“If the mediation was in vain, the commission would then consider whether to help the complainant to bring the case to court,” said Chu.