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Press release – 25.09.2012

General Policy Recommendation No.14 [en] – [fr]

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes guidelines to combat discrimination in employment

Strasbourg, 25.09.2012 – The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe today issued its General Policy Recommendation No.14 which calls the Council of Europe’s 47 member States to stop racism and racial discrimination in employment.

Harassment, victimisation and segregation are still found in Europe, says ECRI, with some workers facing “multiple discrimination” on different grounds at the same time, such as “race”, gender and religion.

Governments need to launch national plans promoting equality and preventing discrimination in employment, in both the public and private sector, says ECRI.

The guidelines also urge governments to enact and apply laws which afford genuine protection against direct and indirect discrimination. Workers who complain of racial discrimination or racial harassment should also be protected against dismissal or other retaliatory action.

Tax or insurance reductions for employers with a multicultural workforce, funding for training, recognition awards or certificates are some of the incentives that governments should adopt to encourage employers to combat discrimination in employment.

“Promotion of non discrimination is a good marketing tool for employers” says ECRI, on the contrary “a reputation for discrimination could have a negative impact on company’s profitability”.

“Eliminating racial discrimination and providing equality of access to employment and to promotion can result in the creation of a diverse workforce which offers an unlimited pool of talent” states ECRI. “An inclusive working environment which promotes diversity is of benefit to employers and employees and the whole of society.”

The full text of the Recommendation can be found at www.coe.int/ecri

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination), as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member states.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 6 22 12 96 29, stefano.valenti@coe.int