Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Photo: HK Government

Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong use few of the public services provided by the government, while the providers of those services should increase awareness and assist them, a survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by the Special Needs Groups Task Force under the Commission on Poverty, interviewed 179 stakeholders, including 130 ethnic minorities, on their views of the services provided by the Employees Retraining Board (ERB), the Home Affairs Department (HAD), the Labour Department (LD) and the Social Welfare Department (SWD).

The survey was done in December 2016, the Oriental Daily reported.

About 58% of the interviewees had been living in Hong Kong for 10 years, while 21% had been there for less than seven years. Only seven of those interviewed used all the public services provided by the four agencies and 22 did not use any.

Meanwhile, only 31% used the services of the LD, 14% used the ERB and 44% used the SWD. About 62% of the interviewees used HAD services through its support service centers and sub-centers for ethnic minorities.

The survey pointed out improvements have to made in areas like service promotion, translation and interpretation, as well as in understanding the needs and the cultures of ethnic minorities.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the relevant bureaus and departments will continue to improve their existing services and explore new measures to enhance ethnic minorities’ awareness and use of public services. He added that HK$500 million had been earmarked in the budget to support ethnic minorities, according to a government release.

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