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New anti-racism commission reports on Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) Strasbourg 5 June 2019
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This week the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has published new reports on Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia, as well as conclusions on seven other countries.

In its report on the Netherlands, (ECRI) welcomes the process to include further discrimination grounds in the Constitution and the amendment to the General Equal Treatment Act covering also a person’s sexual characteristics, gender identity and gender expression. However, the hate crime and anti-discrimination legislation does not provide for sufficiently dissuasive sanctions; not all anti-discrimination bureaus are independent, and the equality bodies do not have enough resources.

Concerning Ireland, ECRI has urged the authorities to take action against local authorities that fail to spend money allocated for providing accommodation for Travellers, but also highlights a number of positive developments in recent years, including the formal recognition of Travellers as an indigenous ethnic group, the legalisation of same-sex marriage and a new law allowing transgender people to officially change their name and gender through self-determination.

As for Slovenia, the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission welcomes the new anti-discrimination legislation, and new initiatives to promote LGBT rights. However, hate speech is almost never criminally prosecuted in Slovenia, necessary data to combat racial discrimination is lacking and access by Roma to housing and safe water supply remains a problem.

The ECRI report notes some progress in Romania in the last five years, but expresses concern about a number of issues, notably the widespread problem of racist and intolerant hate speech, the inadequate response of the criminal justice system to hate crimes, and discrimination against Roma and LGBT persons.

In addition to these country reports, ECRI has also published conclusions on the implementation of priority recommendations made to Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. These conclusions, based on the response from the Government and information gathered from other sources, concern only the priority recommendations made in 2016 and do not aim at providing a comprehensive analysis of all developments in the fight against racism and intolerance in the countries concerned.


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