European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination

One issue which recurs most regularly in ECRI’s country monitoring reports is that of the persistence of racial discrimination, which is linked to the lack of effective anti-discrimination legislation in some Council of Europe member states. ECRI has noted that some countries do not yet possess a complete body of legislation to combat discrimination, and systematically recommends that member states should adopt specific and full anti-discrimination legislation, containing provisions in different fields of law and covering areas such as employment, housing, education, access to social and public services. ECRI has also adopted General Policy Recommendation No.7 containing the elements which it considers should feature in the legislation of the member states of the Council of Europe in order to combat racism and racial discrimination effectively.

ECRI is aware that legislation alone cannot eliminate racism and racial discrimination, but it also firmly believes that racism and racial discrimination cannot be combated without legislation. ECRI organised a seminar on this topic with national specialised bodies (13-14 November 2003).

ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No.7

Seminar with national specialised bodies