3 May 2008

Save the EU Directive on Anti-Discrimination.

Craig has blogged about this and it reminded me how important this directive. UNISON's National LGBT Committee, TUC, ETUC, LGBT Labour, Rainbow Rose and ILGA-Europe have been involved in the campaign for a new EU directive for anti-discrimination in areas outside employment to include all grounds. At present, European legislation does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation, age, disability, religion and belief, in areas of life other then employment such as access to goods and services (including housing), social protection and social advantages, education and health care. Legal protection against discrimination on the different grounds varies from one EU country to another. All member states have legal rules going beyond ehat is already required by European law but discrimination on some grounds (age, disability and sexual orientation) is less covered, domestic laws may prohibit discrimination for all the grounds but only in some areas of life and there is not a minimum applicable standard of non-discrimination across the EU. Discrimination on the grounds of Race and Gender have the strongest protection. At the moment, the directive is under threat with objections coming from the President of the EU Commission and from Governments of some Member States including Germany. In particular concerns have been expressed about the inclusion of sexual orientation in the directive. There is a petition that can be signed to help save the directive.

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