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Press Release – 29.04.2008

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) publishes new reports on Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, San Marino and Serbia

Strasbourg, 29.04.2008 – The Chairperson of ECRI today announced the release of five new reports examining racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, San Marino and Serbia. ECRI recognizes that positive developments have occurred in all five of these Council of Europe member countries. At the same time, however, the reports detail continuing grounds for concern for the Commission.

In Liechtenstein, the Government adopted a five-year National Action Plan to Combat and Prevent Racism. Many different measures have been taken to train officials and to raise awareness among the general public about the need to combat racism and racial violence. But despite measures taken by the authorities, Muslims still face some obstacles in practising their religion and children of immigrant background are still faced with disadvantages in access to education.

In Malta, the legal and institutional framework against racism and racial discrimination has been strengthened and primary anti-discrimination legislation covering different areas of life has been introduced. But irregular migrants, asylum seekers, persons with humanitarian protection and refugees remain vulnerable to racial discrimination in accessing different services and to exploitation on the labour market. The legal provisions against racist expressions and racially-motivated offences are not yet fully applied.

In Moldova, new legislation was introduced, outlawing extremist activity in fields related to racism and intolerance. The new Labour Code adopted in 2003 contains anti-discrimination provisions. However there is a problem of inadequate implementation of the existing law in many fields which are of importance to combating racism and racial discrimination. At the same time, no comprehensive body of civil and administrative anti-discrimination legislation has been adopted.

In San Marino, a number of initiatives have been taken to raise awareness of issues of racism and racial discrimination among the general public, notably in the framework of the Council of Europe’s “All Different All Equal” campaign. Opportunities for teachers to acquire competencies in the field of intercultural education and for pupils to increase their knowledge of human rights have been increased. However, comprehensive civil and administrative legislation prohibiting discrimination in all fields of life still remains to be adopted.

Serbia has taken a number of measures to combat racism and intolerance and is a party to Protocol No.12 to the European Convention on Human Rights which contains a general non-discrimination clause. But although a bill on discrimination has been drafted, Serbia has not yet enacted exhaustive provisions against racial discrimination in the area of civil and administrative law. The Criminal Code is still too seldom applied to persons who commit racist offences.

ECRI’s country-specific reports are available at: www.coe.int/ecri