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Have you been treated unfairly?

June 4th 2012

Equinet is a European network, supporting and assisting national equality bodies in Europe, but lacks any competence or power to investigate or in any other way deal with individual cases of discrimination.

If you consider that you have been a victim or a witness of an act of discrimination we would suggest that you contact the National Equality Body in your country of residence. EU anti-discrimination legislation provides that each Member State shall have (at least) one such equality body with the power to, among other, give independent assistance to victims of discrimination. The equality bodies are specialised authorities whose staff are trained and experienced to handle cases of discrimination.

The possibilities of each equality body to help victims depend on the national legislation of each State, but they can include, for instance:

  • Providing legal advice and consultation;
  • Assisting or representing victims of discrimination in Court;
  • Mediating or negotiating settlements between the alleged perpetrator and the victim to find solutions which are acceptable to both parties without going to Court;
  • Bringing cases to Court in their own name, including in absence of an identifiable victim (for instance in the case of a discriminatory employment advertisement);
  • In some countries the national equality body acts as a court itself, with the power to adopt legally binding decisions regarding individual cases of discrimination.

The national equality body of your State of residence is therefore best adapted to handle individual cases of discrimination and the most likely to be able to help you, or to redirect you.

EQUINET is a network regrouping these national equality bodies, and you will find all necessary contact information for them here.