The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published monitoring reports on Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" analysing recent developments and outstanding issues and providing recommendations to the authorities. Despite certain positive developments, ECRI notes, there are challenges ahead.
In Azerbaijan, against the background of the general attitude of openness towards many historical minorities, some positive legal developments and the authorities’ efforts in integrating migrants, the continued use of hate speech; weakened civil society; prejudice against LGBT people and discrimination against religious communities give rise to serious concern. [more]
ECRI noted some progress in Cyprus, such as the criminalisation of the public incitement to hatred or violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity; a new law allowing registered same-sex partnerships; anti-racism initiatives in schools and advances in the situation of domestic workers. However, lack of integration measures for non-nationals and Roma, anti-migrant sentiment and hate speech remain problematic.
Specific recommendations are made regarding Equinet member, the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights. [more]
In Italy legislative initiatives were welcomed, as well as the increasing number of legal proceedings following instances of hate speech. The significant efforts made in rescuing and accommodating migrant and asylum seekers was also acknowledged. However, gaps in the anti-discrimination law remain and continuation of forced evictions of Roma from their settlements in the absence of re-housing solutions raises concern.
A number of recommendations focused on Equinet member UNAR, and its lack of independence and limited mandate.[more]
In Lithuania, the authorities took further measures to improve the situation of persons who have been granted subsidiary protection. Despite the action plan for Roma Integration, the social marginalisation of this group remains a problem. Homo- and transphobic hatred is also of concern. ECRI called on the Lithuanian authorities to take specific measures to improve the living conditions of Roma and address hate speech against LGBT.
Specific recommendations are made regarding Equinet member, Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman[more]
In “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, ECRI registered some positive legislative and policy developments aimed at fighting racial discrimination, as well as promoting the integration of Roma. Yet, ethnic tensions between the two largest communities and intolerance towards LGBT persons remain alarmingly high. In addition, several religious communities, in particular of Christian Orthodox faith, face problems with their registration.
Concrete recommendations regarding the Commission for the Protection against Discrimination are also made.[more]