MINELRES: ECRI's Listserve: New country reports: Cyprus, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and the Russian Federation

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sun May 21 09:23:26 2006

Original sender: ECRI'S Listserve <Combat.Racism@coe.int>

ECRI releases reports on Cyprus, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and the
Russian Federation

ECRI released today five new reports on racism, xenophobia, antisemitism
and intolerance of its third monitoring cycle on Cyprus, Denmark, Italy,
Luxembourg and the Russian Federation. The third round country reports
focus on “implementation”.. They examine if ECRI’s main recommendations
from previous reports have been followed and implemented, and if so,
with what degree of success and effectiveness. 

ECRI recognises that positive developments have occurred in all five of
these Council of Europe member countries. At the same time, however, the
reports detail continuing grounds for concern for the Commission:

In Cyprus, the legal and institutional framework against racial
discrimination has been considerably strengthened. However, the
continuing lack of a comprehensive immigration and integration policy
has resulted in a particular vulnerability of immigrants to human rights
violations, exploitation and discrimination. New opportunities for
actively promoting dialogue and reconciliation between the members of
the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities still remain to be seized. 

Denmark adopted an Act on Ethnic Equal Treatment and created a
Complaints Committee for Ethnic Equal Treatment, whose mandate is to
examine complaints of discrimination in all areas, including employment.
However, the Nationality Act, the Integration Act and the Aliens’ Act
have been further modified in a manner which disproportionately
restricts the ability of members of minority groups to acquire Danish
citizenship, to benefit from spousal and family reunification and to
have access to social protection on par with the rest of society. 

In Italy, the authorities have established a specialised body to combat
racial discrimination, which assists victims and raise awareness of this
phenomenon among the general public. However, immigration legislation
has made the situation of many non-EU citizens more precarious, and its
implementation, notably in respect of immigrants without legal status,
has resulted in the exposure of these persons to a higher risk of human
rights violations. 

Luxembourg has adopted a new law easing the requirements for foreigners’
participation in local elections. However, housing conditions for asylum
seekers and refugees still leave much to be desired, and no policy has
been introduced to integrate communities from an immigrant background in
matters such as employment and housing. 

In the Russian Federation, the criminal law provisions aimed at
combating racism, racial discrimination and extremism have been
reinforced and there have been some prosecutions of hate speech.
However, there needs to be greater urgency at both local and national
level in tackling the problem. The existing provisions are not
adequately implemented particularly because the racist motive of an
offence is not taken sufficiently into account. Visible minorities and
members of minority religious groups are the main targets of racially
motivated attacks. 


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