MINELRES: ERT calls on the European Commission to propose a single non-discrimination directive
Sat May 3 09:37:45 2008
Original sender: Equal Rights Trust <email@example.com>
ERT letter to President Barroso urging a unified approach to
London, 30 April 2008
Today, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) wrote to Jose Manuel Barroso, the
President of the European Commission, regarding the Commission’s plan to
draft a non-discrimination directive on the basis of Article 13 of the
In October 2007 the European Commission, empowered under Article 13 to
take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or
ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual
orientation, sent to the European Parliament its Legislative and Work
Programme for 2008. The Commission indicated that it was necessary to
implement a new European Directive to ensure the same level of
protection for all grounds and promote harmonization throughout Europe
in this field.
In recent weeks there has been concern among civil society
organisations, national equality authorities, national and European
politicians and eminent practitioners that the legislative proposals
currently being formulated by the European Commission are too narrow in
scope and that by covering only disability and not also age, religion
and belief, sex and sexual orientation it will dilute the vision of
In a detailed advocacy letter, ERT set out its concerns regarding such
an approach and made the following recommendations in relation to the
Commisson’s legislative proposals:
1. The European Commission in its legislative proposals should introduce
a single non-discrimination directive covering all grounds referred to
in Article 13: age, disability, race, religion and belief, sex, and
2. The single non-discrimination directive should provide protection
against discrimination on all Article 13 grounds covering all areas
outside employment, which are specified in Council directive 2000/43/EC
in respect to race or ethnicity, and level up protection on all grounds
to – at minimum – that afforded on the ground of race or ethnicity.
3. The principles and obligations contained in the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities should be incorporated into the
single non-discrimination directive.
4. The single non-discrimination directive should be supplemented with a
separate document providing guidelines on the application of the
directive in respect to disability and focusing on meeting the specific
challenges facing persons with disabilities.
5. A prohibition of multiple discrimination should be expressly set out
within the single non-discrimination directive.
6. It should be set out plainly within the single non-discrimination
directive that positive action and positive duties are not exceptions to
but are an integral part of implementing the principle of
non-discrimination set forth by Article 13.
7. The exceptions within the single non-discrimination directive should
be limited, covering a range of circumstances and subject to a strict
To see the full text of the letter click here:
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