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European Discrimination Policies

Examples of good and bad practice by the insurance industry and banks
by AGE Platform Europe
Read it

Working on a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons
By: Mary J. Mayer (IFA United Nations Representative)
Since its creation, the protection of human rights has been a cornerstone of the work of the United Nations. Article 1 of its Charter proclaims that one of the purposes of the United Nations is to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. Thus, one of the first major achievements of the UN was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December, 1948 which stated that “all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights” and are entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration “without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
Read: http://library.constantcontact.com/doc201/1101901198311/doc/AudjXchcUUey1Pu3.pdf

Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing
Report of the Secretary-General
Summary:
"The present report is submitted in response to General Assembly resolution 63/151. The main focus of the report is the promotion and protection of human rights as they pertain to older persons in the context of the implementation of international legal and policy instruments as well as national action."
Read more >>

EQUALITY IN ACTION
The autumn 2008 edition of the on-line newsletter, ‘Equality in Action’.
This edition of the newsletter is designed to help readers access the various elements of the new social package, which was published by the European Commission on the 2nd of July 2008.
This far-reaching legislative package comprises several documents, including a proposed Directive and a Commission Communication on anti-discrimination. ‘Equality in Action’ guides readers through these various elements, providing clear explanations, reactions to the package and links to relevant information and contact points.


The European Commission’s website on non-discrimination in the European Union.
This site provides information on all aspects of EU action – both laws and policies – to combat discrimination
http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/fundamental_rights/index_en.htm

EU policy section about discrimination

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=553&langId=en

In ‘Sweetie’ and ‘Dear,’ a Hurt for the Elderly - New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/us/07aging.html?_r=1&ei=5070&emc=eta1&oref=slogin

Civil society organisations and trade unions welcome European Commission decision to propose anti-discrimination directive.

On 16 June 2008, Commissioner Barrot confirmed to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the European Commission will propose a cross-cutting horizontal directive aimed at combating discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, religion/belief and sexual orientation in areas outside the field of employment. AGE joined other civil society organisations and trade unions working for equality, human rights and social justice to welcome this news and congratulated President Barroso and the European Commission on their consistent commitment to equality for all. The European Parliament was also thanked for its strong support.
Joint Press Release to welcome the decision: http://www.age-platform.org/EN/spip.php?article600

Eurobarometer puts spotlight on age discrimination in the EU
According to the Eurobarometer on Discrimination in the EU (July 2008), 42% of Europeans see discrimination on the basis of age as widespread. However, older respondents are more inclined to say age discrimination is widespread, with women (44%) more likely to see it as such than men (39%). Respondents reported age as the most common ground for being discriminated against themselves, with one in seven people (6%) reporting that they had experienced age discrimination in the last twelve months. In particular, 40% of EU citizens think there is widespread age-related discrimination when it comes to buying insurance products; 31% think the same in relation to housing; 20% in relation to buying goods or using services; 19% about using the healthcare system and 17% about the educational system.
This shows clearly the reality faced by older people in the EU , said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Director. AGE and its members hope that the new Article 13 directive on non-discrimination will take on board these significant findings in its
consideration and that it will ban unjustified differences of treatment based on age for example in access to insurance and healthcare. However, AGE considers that public, private and non governmental providers of goods and services should be allowed to offer preferential rates to specific age groups such as younger and older people to compensate for a disadvantage and to enable these age groups to participate fully in society and in the economy (for example, with reduced rate theatre tickets, shop discounts, etc).
For more details see AGE message to President Barroso: http://www.age-platform.org/EN/spip.php?article578
The Eurobarometer survey was carried out in January 2008 with over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States.

Commission's Conference on communicating equality and non-discrimination in the EU
The Commission's conference on communicating equality and non-discrimination in the EU, which was held on 5-6 June in Belfast, examined the broader issue of how to communicate on non-discrimination. It followed on from the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and facilitated an exchange of experience on raising awareness of diversity issues. It concluded that national NGOs and equality bodies need to coordinate their efforts and involve local authorities and employers to a greater extent. There is a need to be more proficient in the way that equality issues are communicated and to move beyond the legal requirements on positive action.
A fuller report is available here: http://www.age-platform.org/EN/spip.php?article595

Second equality summit
On September 29th & 30th 2008, the second Equality Summit will take place in the heart of Paris at the Institut du Monde Arabe.
Following the first Equality Summit organised under the German presidency at the launch of the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, the summit will provide an opportunity for an update on the commitments made during the European Year and in particular in the Council Resolution adopted in November 2007.
The summit is co-organised by the European Commission and the French Presidency of the Council. 
Bringing together more than 400 high level delegates, it will also give new impetus to the fight against discriminations and the promotion of equality by creating a longer term perspective, the next step of which will be the summit to be organised in 2009 under the Swedish presidency. 

A major new website on integration : your chance to participate !
“The Hague Programme adopted by the European Council in November 2004, followed by the Groningen Ministerial Conference on Integration, called for the development of a Web Site on Integration (EWSI) by the European Commission (Directorate General for Freedom, Security and Justice). It will be launched in the autumn of 2008.

The Website is designed to act as an EU-wide platform for networking on integration, through exchange about policies and practices. In particular, the EWSI will be:
  • A one-stop access point for documents, funding information, news and events on migrant integration
  • A repository of case studies of integration practices, presented in a clear and comparable way for easy extraction and import
  • A platform for the direct exchange of information and networking between stakeholders through the contacts directory
This is your chance to participate! We are now collecting the first set of content for the website. Ensure your organisation is visible on the Integration Portal by submitting documents and promote your “best practices” among the whole community of integration practitioners by submitting cases studies of integration practices.
For further information, see the Migration Policy Group’s website: www.migpolgroup.com or write to integrationwebsite@unisys.com.
 
European Handbook on Equality data, published 2007
The European Handbook on Equality Data was produced by the Finnish Ministry of Labour, supported by the European Commission, with the aim of giving advice on how to build knowledge bases in the field of equality and discrimination.
The rationale behind efforts to promote the use of equality data is that, in order to ensure that EU legislation supporting equal rights becomes a reality at national level, tackling the knowledge gap due to lack of equality data is crucial. The booklet and accompanying data focuses on why and what kind of data is necessary to address this need, and how relevant statistics should be gathered and compiled.
The booklet also serves to introduce a theoretical, social and legal background to equality and discrimination, pin-points major areas of concern in this field and explains methods of processing and collecting data. It also emphasizes the need for co-ordination at national level and puts forward suggestions for detailed national action plans dealing with data collection mechanisms.
First published in English in 2007, the European Handbook on Equality Data is now available in French and German.

Together in Belfast – the June 2008 Conference on Anti-Discrimination
The European conference in Belfast on the 5-6 June 2008, organised by the European Commission, dedicated to the theme of communication and awareness-raising in the anti-discrimination and equality field. It brought together the current 35 national projects on awareness-raising together with other stakeholders. It allowed the project promoters to meet and to share with a wider audience their experience and ideas and to receive information about on-going developments in EU equality policies.
The conference was an opportunity to discuss how best to promote messages of equality and diversity to various stakeholders, through various means. It also offered training sessions on a number of communication topics. Members of the Commission's finance team also were presented to address questions relating to the financial side of the project and the overall outcome of the Conference should build further cohesion among stakeholders.



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