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EUROCONF (2000) 10 II


Policies and practices to combat racism and related discrimination at sub-national and national levels

Mr Pierre TRUCHE
Chair, National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, France

16 October 2000

Report of Working Group II - Download the document

I Joint action to combat all forms of discrimination
II Specific fields of action
III Conclusion

Working Group II examined what is done by governments, public institutions and NGOs to combat racism and discrimination. This implied analysing the means deployed and the results obtained so as to make suggestions for improvement. This work was undertaken by persons from throughout Europe, who have specialist knowledge in many different fields and come from both public bodies and the private sector. It does not aim to be exhaustive but to highlight practical action, the success of which has been demonstrated.

I Joint action to combat all forms of discrimination 

Above all it is groups of victims of discrimination which have to act: all the experiences analysed in the course of the debates show that more rapid progress is achieved when the representatives of the groups concerned are directly involved in drawing up, implementing and evaluating measures.

It is also considered a good idea for these independent bodies to be required to publish regular reports (as is the case in France).

Participants stressed the importance of encouraging the active participation of NGOs, civil society and the public in general. One particular good practice was mentioned in this connection, namely that of awarding a distinction to organisations which set up plans of action against racism of their own accord (the example cited was the “baton against racism” awarded on the occasion of an annual conference in Denmark).

II Specific fields of action 

3. Immigration

On the issue of immigration, Italy has organised a dialogue with foreigners as part of a “council” and has instructed a commission, comprising researchers and NGO representatives, to carry out a number of studies. In Ukraine the emphasis has been placed on problems in the countries of origin and on the need to seek out the networks controlling this type of trafficking.

4. Street children

In Italy, attention has been focused on the phenomenon of children begging in the street following the conflicts in the Balkans. A guidance service has been set up to help them.

5. Women

6. Justice and legal systems

In the justice field, emphasis is placed on judges’ training, particularly in relation to their attitude to members of ethnic minorities. In Norway, provision has been made for the election of “lay” judges who are members of such minorities. In the Netherlands, prosecutors have been appointed to specialise in combating discrimination and a national body co-ordinates the investigation of discrimination cases.

7. Policing

III Conclusion