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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

To mark 10 years since their establishment, Unia took a critical look at the antidiscrimination and antiracism law in Belgium and published a report with 27 recommendations. In brief, Unia concludes that the laws are insufficient for certain victims and do not always have enough impact. The report was written based on Unia’s experience with some 17,000 cases. The current laws have now been in place for 10 years.

 

The Danish Institute for Human Rights’ (DIHR) annual report to the Danish Parliament has been released. The report provides a status of the human rights situation in Denmark as well as highlighting some of the results they have achieved through their international work. DIHR also acts as the national equality body for matters of racial and ethnic origin and for gender issues. In addition, they have a special role in the disability area, where they promote and monitor implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

The enumeration of protected characteristics in the law is open-ended, the last one mentioned is „other situation, characteristic or feature” in Section 8 (t). This does not imply, however, that the law affords protection based on any characteristic or situation that might conceivably apply to an individual, for that would render the regulation meaningless. The range of characteristics and situations protected under this concept must be similar to the explicitly listed characteristics in the law.

This publication by the Equal Treatment Authority outlines the concept of other situation and its appearance and interpretation in the Authority’s application of the law.

 

This Report deals with the 2016 activities of the Czech Public Defender of Rights, as the national equality body. Apart from its national engagements, it has a focus on standards for equality bodies, and highlights its rich participation in the Equinet network.

 

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