Hong Kong needs a fully fledged human rights institution, a role the Equal Opportunities Commission cannot fulfil, its chairman says. Raymond Tang Yee-bong said the EOC could not be a substitute for such a body because its remit was limited by law. 'In the absence of a human rights institution with a broad and general remit, the community has developed an expectation that the EOC should pursue this role, but we will be unable to deliver at some point,' he said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. 'I hope the community will understand that the role of the EOC is not something the EOC can pick and choose.' Mr Tang said that while the EOC had a broad mandate to advise on general issues surrounding discrimination, it was first and foremost a statutory regulator and could not act beyond its limits. However, Mr Tang added that the EOC 'can make a lot of noise as an upholder of human rights and will continue to make noise', though it was limited in the scope of action it could take. He advocated the establishment of a human rights institution when he presented the EOC's alternative report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva last month. He believed it was only a matter of time before one would be set up. Mr Tang said the EOC had powers beyond even what the Paris Principles on national human rights institutions provided for. A human rights institution should be based on such a strong foundation but with a broader ambit than the EOC's domain of fighting discrimination. In Geneva, Mr Tang also advocated the establishment of a mental heath council. He said the EOC was still working on a report on 'equal pay for work of equal value' studying pay parity in the public sector. 'We have not shelved it, we are not trying to pour cold water on it, but we need to help the public understand the complexity of the issue before we release it. 'The report does not show a definitive trend of disparity one way or the other - in some places men are paid more and in others, women more.' Mr Tang said the concept of equal pay for work of 'equal value' was more complex than 'equal pay for the same job'. 'In a dynamic economy like Hong Kong's, how do you measure the value of a job? It keeps changing,' he said. 'The concept presupposes a very stable economy and environment, and a more traditional economic model.' The new board of commissioners that will take up its position this month will have to review the report and make recommendations on the way forward.