Bodies for the promotion of equal treatment (Article 13 Directive 2000/43)

AuthorTheodoridis, Athanasios
a) Body/bodies designated for the promotion of equal treatment irrespective of
racial/ethnic origin according to Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive
National Commission for Human Rights
Prior to an examination of the equality body included in Equal Treatment Law 4443/2016,
it is important to provide some information on the Greek National Commission for Human
Rights (NCHR), which also plays an important role in the promotion of equal treatment.
According to Law 2667/1998,183 under which it was established, the NCHR, although it is
not an Ρequality bodyΣ as described in δaw 4443/2016, has competence to examine the
ways in which Greek legislation may be harmonised with the international law standards
on human rights protection, and subsequently to submit relevant non-binding opinions to
competent State bodies. The NCHR is the national human rights institution for Greece.
The contribution of the NCHR is important for general policy on the promotion of equal
treatment because, through its unique structure allowing representation in the decision-
making processes of various stakeholders it is able to advise the state on legislation and
policy plans.
Equality body
The most important feature of the provisions of Equal Treatment Law 4443/2016184 was
the unification of separate jurisdictions private and public under one equality body, the
Ombudsman, which has competence in the fields of employment, education and access to
goods and services.185
Under Article 12 of the Law, the Ombudsman is tasked with the monitoring and promotion
of equal treatment, not only for the public sector but also for the private sector. At the
same time, 10 more staff positions were created in 2017 so as to accommodate permanent
legal officers or legal officers with open-ended private law contracts (on secondment). Law
4443/2016 also provides that the General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights
of the Ministry of Justice, within the framework of its jurisdiction for the protection of
human rights and the combating of all forms of discrimination, shall also participate in the
promotion of equal treatment without, however, being an equality body per se. In other
words, the ministry shall, on a policy level, ensure adherence to equal treatment (when
preparing legislative and policy actions). In the same spirit, the Social Protection
Directorate of the Ministry of Labour will, inter alia, monitor the application of anti-
discrimination policies in the field of labour and employment, inform employees and
employers on issues related to discrimination in the field of employment and raise
awareness, as well as providing scientific support to the Labour Inspectorate Body.
In fact, Article 16 requires cooperation amongst all of the aforementioned bodies, as well
as with the Economic and Social Committee, the senior union organisations in the private
and public sectors, the National Social Solidarity Centre, the National Centre for Social
Research, the Centre for Equality Research, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
and the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, as well as with civil society organisations
with expertise on anti-discrimination. In reference to raising awareness and disseminating
information, Article 17 stipulates that employers, as well as those in charge of vocational
training, shall ensure the application of anti-discrimination provisions and shall provide the
183 Law 2667/1998 on the establishment of a National Commission for Human Rights (OJ 281 A/16.12.1998).
184 This law entered into force on 9 December 2016.
185 Therefore, the Committee for Equal Treatment no longer has jurisdiction over discrimination in the private
sector and has thus been abolished. Note that the previous anti-discrimination law, Law 3304/2005, had
established the Equal Treatment Committee as an equality body, although it never functioned.

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