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OFFICE AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR) was set up by Legislative Decree no. 215 of 9 July 2003 and the Presidential Decree of the Council of Ministers (DPCM) of 11 December 2003, in order to enforce the EU Directive no. 2000/43/EC. The Office works for the promotion of equal treatment and the fight against discrimination based on race or ethnic origin. Its headquarters are at the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
The UNAR’s mandate is to promote equal treatment and to fight against discrimination based on race or ethnic origin. Its main task is to lay the foundation for launching strong integration policies which can guarantee peaceful co-existence based on the protection of fundamental human rights. The Office is intended to be a reference point for people who claim to be victims of racial and ethnic discrimination, as well as an institutional body to monitor the effectiveness of instruments for the protection of equal treatment.
The UNAR is a public office situated within the Department for Equal Opportunities. It has a staff of civil servants and external consultants, including lawyers, judges, and experts in the field of social sciences.
The Office is organised into two units:
The main function of the first unit is to collect, including through a contact centre, claims of potential cases of discrimination and to analyse and examine every claim in co-operation with a group of experts in order to provide the victims with immediate legal assistance and qualified expert advice which can also be used in court trials.
The function of the second unit is to promote information and awareness-raising campaigns on the fight against racial discrimination.
The Office monitors and guarantees equal treatment and the effectiveness of its protection by:
The UNAR carries out a specific information and public awareness-raising activity through the media, focusing on different target groups, such as migrants, schools and universities, the police, associations and NGOs and social workers and entrepreneurs.
This activity aims to:
The UNAR works in co-operation with trade unions and business associations to promote positive action through training courses, information campaigns and the promotion of codes of conduct in workplaces.
The UNAR also aims to give information to political institutions about necessary actions to take against racial discrimination, by meeting local authorities, establishing partnerships with other national institutions and reporting to the Parliament and to the President of the Council of Ministers.
One of the main functions of the UNAR is to provide assistance to those people claiming to be victims of discrimination. To this end, the Office has set up a contact centre, which operates daily from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm. The centre can be contacted via a freephone number (800 90 10 10). It employs multilingual staff and its services are available in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Arab, Russian, Romanian and Mandarin Chinese.
The contact centre is intended to guarantee immediate access to the Office for victims of discrimination and to provide them with information and support as well as to register their complaints. The call centre service, which started on 10 December 2004, has received around 1000 calls per month and registered around 30 cases of proven racial discrimination per month.
When the UNAR receives a complaint of discrimination, it registers it and carries out research to find a rapid solution, sending the documentation for an initial consultation to its experts. If a solution cannot be found using conciliation procedures, the UNAR supports the victim in other ways, for example by finding associations that are entitled to represent the victims before the courts.
In cases of discrimination, the UNAR provides victims with the following legal assistance and qualified expertise:
As regards the last point, one of the main tasks of the Office is to combat discrimination in co-operation with associations promoting equal treatment. In fact, the new anti-discrimination law attaches an important role to associations that provide legal assistance to victims of discrimination. The legislative decree n.215/2003 regulating this issue promotes affirmative action to protect victims of discrimination, in co-operation with associations and non-profit-making-organisations. It entitles the latter to represent the victims during court trials upon authorisation given by the victim. Associations have to be officially registered in order to represent victims during court trials. They can register at the Department for Equal Opportunities or at the Ministry for Labour and Social Policies. At the moment 82 of the most important associations and NGOs are officially registered.
Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR)
Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali
Address: Largo Chigi 19
Tel: +39 06 67792267
Fax: +39 06 67792272