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Equality Bodies

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Fouad Belkacem, the leader and spokesperson of the radical Muslim organization Sharia4Belgium. His Youtube videos calling for viewers to overpower non-Muslims and fight them, cannot be considered as freedom of expression. This decision is welcomed by Unia: in the past, Unia has filed complaints at the Antwerp Criminal Court against Sharia4Belgium on multiple occasions.

 

The Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia has published their 2016 Annual Report in English.

 

Can we forbid the wearing of the swimsuit covering the body in a public swimming pool? Unia asked the question to the Health and Care Agency in Flanders and the Flemish Genderkamer. Based on their arguments, Unia sees no valid reason to restrict the freedom to choose an integral swim suit. Unia deduces that, in the absence of a legal basis, this prohibition is contrary to the Flemish anti-discrimination decree.

 

 

Unia received no fewer than 5,619 reports of discrimination in 2016. These led to 1,907 case files being opened concerning possible discrimination, hate speech or hate crimes. This represents an increase of 20 percent from 2015.

 

On 19th June, 2017 Agneta Skardžiuvienė, Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson of the Republic of Lithuania, found that the school Telšiai Žemaitė Gymnasium violated the Law on Equal Treatment of the Republic of Lithuania by not ensuring the absence of discrimination and material promoting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in its curriculum. It has been confirmed that one of the school’s teachers, during a moral (religious) studies lesson, gave information that degraded gay individuals, promoting a negative attitude toward them and encouraging discrimination.


 

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland recently released a ‘Statement on Key Inequalities in Housing and Communities in Northern Ireland’. This highlights their assessment of inequalities and differences in housing experiences faced by equality groups across the Section 75 equality categories in Northern Ireland.

 

This capacity building training session for staff members of equality bodies aims to support equality body staff in tackling equal pay cases, covering the main tools and opening up a space for equality body staff to discuss the main challenges.

 

There are, in some cases, serious discrimination risks in the employment placement in Germany. This can be seen in the joint report to the German Bundestag, which was presented by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) on Thursday, together with the Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, and the Federal Government Commissioner for the Disability of People with Disabilities.

 

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“the Commission”) has launched its Annual Report to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament of Ireland). The report of the Commission’s work as the independent national human rights and equality body, directly accountable to the Oireachtas, outlines the Commission’s increased activity on its statutory functions.

 

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