MINELRES: ERT: LegislationWatch: Czechs Finally Adopt Anti-Discrimination Law

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Jun 27 16:59:01 2009

Original sender: Equal Rights Trust <equalrightstrust1@response.pure360.com>

Czech Republic becomes last EU state to adopt anti-discrimination law  

London, 25 June 2009  
On 17 June 2009 the Czech Republic adopted anti-discrimination
legislation which guarantees the right to equal treatment and bans
discrimination in areas including access to employment, business,
education, healthcare and social security on the grounds of sex, age,
disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation,
religious affiliation and faith or worldview. The passing of the
Anti-Discrimination Act by the Czech Chamber of Deputies was a necessary
step to avoid legal proceedings by the European Commission for failing
to implement the obligations contained in the EU Race Equality Directive
(Council Directive 2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive
(Council Directive 2000/78/EC). 

On 16 May 2008 the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, vetoed the passing of
the anti-discrimination bill which delayed its adoption for over a year.
President Klaus justified his veto on the basis that existing legal
protection against discrimination in the Czech Republic was adequate. On
30 May 2008, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) wrote to Miloslav Vleek, the
Chairperson of the Chamber of Deputies, expressing its concern over
these developments and urging him and his Chamber colleagues to adopt
the anti-discrimination bill, by overturning the President’s veto. 

In its letter ERT put forward clear arguments which supported the
contention that new anti-discrimination legislation was needed and that
the existing system was insufficient due to: (i) the lack of a legal
definition of forms of discrimination; (ii) the non-protection against
discrimination in certain fields of activity, such as education, social
security, and access to health; and (iii) the lack of a specialised body
to protect against discrimination.  In June 2009, the President’s veto
was overturned with the support of 118 MPs of the Chamber of Deputies. 

Speaking about the development, ERT Executive Director Dimitrina Petrova

“The Czech Republic is the last country in the EU to adopt specific
anti-discrimination legislation to implement the requirements of the
equality Directives. 

“The new Czech anti-discrimination law meets the minimum requirements of
the EC directives, but the delay in adopting this legislation means that
the stakeholders have lost out, having been left with insufficient
protection against discrimination for a number of years. 

”In the meantime, the European Court of Justice has handed down several
progressive judgments relating to the Directives in recent years, which
should guide policy and judicial decisions. ERT regards the
transposition of the EC Directives as just the first step, and in the
coming years will be monitoring the effective implementation of the
equality principles they have established.” 

To see ERT's letter to Miloslav Vleek, the Chairperson of the Chamber of
Deputies, click here:

To VOTE FOR EQUALITY and sign the Declaration of Principles on Equality,
click here: