FIGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION : NGO COALITION URGES EU NOT TO SHELVE DIRECTIVE.

 
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Given the Council's lack of progress on the anti-discrimination directive for more than three and a half years, seven European non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have decided to shift into higher gear. On 12 January, AGE Platform Europe, Amnesty International, the European Disability Forum (EDF), the European Network against Racism (ENAR), the European Women's Lobby (EWL), ILGA-Europe and the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organisation stepped up pressure on the European Commission, Council of Ministers and Danish EU Presidency. Their message is clear: the draft directive, aimed at extending protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or convictions, disability, age or sexual orientation to areas other than employment, must not be shelved. "Given the current climate of growing intolerance against minorities and the impact of the financial and economic crisis on the most vulnerable groups across Europe, including persons with disabilities and older people, we urge the European Commission to put the proposed law back on the political agenda," states the coalition of NGOs active in human rights and anti-discrimination. "We urge the Danish Presidency of the EU to take the lead in moving forward with negotiations in a transparent manner, open to the input of human rights and anti-discrimination experts including civil society; and we urge the Council of the EU not to undermine the Commission's proposal and to ensure swift adoption of a strong and ambitious anti-discrimination directive, which also covers multiple discrimination."

The draft directive, presented in July 2008, builds on three existing texts: Directives 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin; 2000/78/ECaestablishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation...

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