7 BODIES FOR THE PROMOTION OF EQUAL TREATMENT (Article 13 Direct ive
a) Body d esignated for the promotion of equal treatment irrespective of racial/ethnic
origin according to Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive
The requirement to introduce a b ody for the promotion of equal treatment is covered in
establishes an ‘offic e’ within the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of
of Ministers. According
to Article 7
(1), the promotion
the elimination of any sort of di scrimination on grounds of racial and ethn ic origin are the
general and ex clusive tasks of the office. UNAR’s remit h as been extended to cover all
grounds of discrimination by a ministerial directive (an internal act of the Government
assessing the specific t asks of each Government department) issued in 2010, renewed in
2012 and valid until the Government decides otherwise.
The director of the office is app ointed by the Prime Minister or by a mi nister on his behalf
Legislative Decree 215/2003). Its
internal organisation is
set out by
Minister’s D ecree adopted on 11 D ecember 2003 (Costituzione e organizzazione interna
dell’Ufficio per la promozione della parità di trattamento e la rimozione delle
discriminazioni, di cui all’art. 29 della legge comunitaria 1° marzo 2002, n. 39) . The office
fulfils two services: one dev oted to actions against discrimination; the other de voted to
research and relations with other institutions.
According to Article 3 of the Decree, 21 officials shall be employed, including one g eneral
executive, one executive for each service and 18 officials. Moreover, other officials may be
recruited, seconded either f rom other Prime Minister’s departments (up to a maximum of
five), or from other Government departments. This includes judges, state attorneys,
experts and ad
visers without civil
(up to a
five) (Article 7
of Legislative Decree 215 /2003). In June 2019, the Government appointed Triantafillos
Loukarelis as General Director.
UNAR’s competences include the provision of assistanc e to victims of discrimination in
pursuing their complaints in judicial or administrative proceedings and surveys on
discrimination, but without infringing on the prerogatives of the judicial authorities.
b) Political, economic and social context of the designated body
In Italy, there is a general lack of interest regarding the equality body and regarding bodies
dealing with human rights in general. N o independent body has been designated to deal
with discrimination (not even on the grounds of gender) or human rights. On the contrary,
there appears to be sharp hostility, judging from recurring questions asked by Members of
Parliament to the Government, sometimes inclu ding requests to close UNAR or to limit its
remit to race and ethnic origin, as required by Legislative Decree 215/200 3.101
There is no evidence of a popular debate on the designated body, which is not even known
about by most people, even those who are more supportive of equality and diversity. UNAR
took centre stage in the national media only recently, when a scandal on its allocation of
funding was di scovered, in addition to one previous occasion when an MP reacted to a
letter sent by UNAR’s director asking for more balanced speeches when dealing with
migrants.102 As far as equalit y and diversity in general are conc erned, the popular debate
has mostly been influenced by hostility against migrants. In particular, there is an
increasing trend to link crimes committed by migrants to the general policy regarding
migration and expulsion, and even to integration policies. It appears that there is no place
for a popular consensus on equality and diversity.
101 See: http://www.camera.it/leg17/410?idSeduta=0748&tipo=stenografico.
102 See: http://www.camera.it/leg17/410?idSeduta=0746&tipo=documenti_seduta.