The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published conclusions on the implementation of priority recommendations made to Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom in 2016.
Each country report by ECRI contains recommendations for which priority follow-up is requested. Two years after the publication of each report, ECRI asks the Government concerned what has been done to implement these priority recommendations and draws up its conclusions on the follow-up given.
In the report on Azerbaijan, ECRI recommended creating conditions enabling the development of a diverse and independent civil society and enacting legislation on alternatives to military service. ECRI concludes that these recommendations have not been implemented.
As for Cyprus, ECRI strongly recommended that the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights is consulted on all appointments of staff to her office and that an adequate budget is allocated to her, which has been partially implemented. ECRI also recommended developing a new integration plan for non-nationals; this recommendation has not yet been implemented.
Regarding Italy, ECRI reiterated its recommendation to ensure that full independence of UNAR (Ufficio nazionale antidiscriminazioni razziali) is secured both in law and in fact, to extend its powers so that the relevant legislation clearly covers discrimination based not only on ethnic origin and race but also on colour, language, religion, nationality and national origin; and to grant it the right to bring legal proceedings. ECRI concludes that this recommendation has not been implemented. Moreover, ECRI recommended that the authorities implement in schools at every level measures to promote mutual tolerance and respect at school, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This recommendation has been partially implemented, given that measures so far conducted were based solely on extracurricular programmes and mainly upon civil society’s initiatives.
In its recommendations to the authorities of Lithuania, ECRI recommended resolving the difficult housing situation of Roma and setting up an inter-institutional working group to develop a comprehensive strategy on racist and homo-/transphobic hate speech. Both recommendations have been partially implemented.
Concerning North Macedonia, ECRI recommended that the authorities fill all the vacant positions in the Ombudsman’s office; this recommendation has been partially implemented. ECRI also recommended that the authorities carry out an independent comprehensive study on all forms of discrimination against LGBT persons jointly with the LGBT community; this has not been implemented.
In its recommendation to the authorities of Turkey, ECRI strongly recommended ensuring the compliance of the provisions on the independence and mandate of the new Human Rights and Equality Authority with ECRI’s General Policy Recommendations. Moreover, ECRI insisted on its earlier recommendation to entrust a body that would be fully independent of the police, other security forces and the prosecution services with the investigation of alleged cases of misconduct by members of the police or other security forces. ECRI finds that both recommendations have been partly implemented.
For the United Kingdom, ECRI strongly recommended collecting data on the application of the Equality Act 2010; it concludes that the recommendation has been partially implemented. In addition, ECRI strongly recommended that the authorities of Northern Ireland consolidate equality legislation into a single, comprehensive equality act. This recommendation has not been implemented.