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Providing Independent Assistance to Victims of Discrimination

March 26th 2012
Providing independent assistance to victims of discrimination in pursuing their complaints about discrimination goes to the core of the work of equality bodies. This report analyses different ways of providing that assistance and offers concrete examples and describes some relevant experiences of equality bodies in this area.
Providing independent assistance to victims of discrimination in pursuing their complaints about discrimination is at the heart of the work of equality bodies: all national equality bodies put in place under the EU anti-discrimination directives are mandated and bear a responsibility to take on this task. What this task entails, what kind of support these bodies should give and how, is not elaborated in any detail by the directives. Consequently, while all national equality bodies have the same task, the meaning of this obligation has been interpreted differently in the various Member States. Different needs due to various national contexts and diverse views of the role of national equality bodies have led to the development of several different approaches, both in terms of the broader mandate given to these bodies and in relation to how particular assistance is given to the individual.

This Equinet report summarizes the discussions form 2011 of the Equinet Working Group on Strategy Development (WG) and contains eight chapters elaborating on different ways of providing assistance to individuals that the members of the WG and their national equality bodies have experience with. The focus is both on different types of assistance and the methods for providing this assistance. The report offers concrete examples and describes some relevant experiences of national equality bodies. The report builds on the experience of the WG members and the organisations they represent, taking into account good practices and lessons learned.


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