MINELRES: ECRI's Listserve: NEW country reports (Andorra, Latvia, the Netherlands, Ukraine)

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Feb 13 20:42:28 2008

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


ECRI releases reports on Andorra, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine

ECRI released today four new reports examining racism, xenophobia,
antisemitism and intolerance in Andorra, Latvia, the Netherlands and
Ukraine. The 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 four of
these Council of Europe member countries. At the same time, however, the
reports detail continuing grounds for concern for the Commission:

In Andorra, a new Criminal Code came into force, providing for the
racist motivation of a criminal offence to be regarded as an aggravating
circumstance and prohibiting incitement to racial hatred as well as
racist organisations.  However, Andorra has not yet ratified Protocol
N°12 to the European Convention on Human Rights and does not have a
detailed and comprehensive body of civil and administrative law
prohibiting racial discrimination in all areas.  

In Latvia, a clear prohibition of racial discrimination was included in
the Labour code and efforts have been made to increase the number of
non-citizens being granted Latvian citizenship, either by encouraging or
facilitating naturalisation.  Nevertheless there remain a number of
problems as to the full integration of the Russian-speaking population. 
The number of racially-motivated attacks targeting visible minorities
has been increasing and the use of racist discourse, by some politicians
and in the media, remains a problem.  

In the Netherlands, work is underway for the establishment of a network
of professional local anti-discrimination bureaus throughout the
country, with the aim of improving the protection provided to victims of
racism and racial discrimination and the monitoring of these phenomena. 
However, the tone of Dutch political and public debate on integration
and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities has experienced a
dramatic deterioration.  The criminal justice system, and notably the
police, still needs to enhance its role in monitoring and countering
racially-motivated offences.  
In Ukraine, the Committee for Nationalities and Religion became fully
operational with, among other tasks, combating racism and racial
discrimination. However, criminal legislation against racially-motivated
crimes has not been strengthened and the authorities have not yet
adopted a comprehensive body of civil and administrative
anti-discrimination laws. There have been very few prosecutions against
people who make antisemitic statements or publish antisemitic
literature. Members of the Roma community still face many inequalities
in areas such as education, employment and housing. 

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