Positive action (Article 5 Directive 2000/43, Article 7 Directive 2000/78)

AuthorFavilli, Chiara
5 POSITIVE ACTION (Article 5 Directive 2000/43, Article 7 Directive
a) Scope for positive action measures
In Italy, positive acti on is permitted in national law in respect of racial or ethnic origin,
religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, through an express and identical
implementation of Articles 5 an d 7 of both directives. The only difference concerns Article
7(2)(c) of Legislative Decree 215/2003, according to which the tasks of UNAR, the
equality body, include promoting the adoption of positive actions by private parti es.
Positive acti on is in principle legitimate under the Italian Constitution in the light of the
principle of substantive equal ity in Arti cle 3(2). Several laws have been enacted to give
special status to linguistic minorities and to certain religions. Moreover, other laws ai m to
promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Finally, several projects ha ve been
funded to promote the social integration of the Roma.
Relevant provisions related to disability, in particular those concerning employment, have
come into force under Law 68/1999, which was most recently amended i n 2015.
Race and ethnic origin
Specific projects have been funded by UNAR and labelled as positive actions. In
particular, speci al events are promoted du ring Anti-Racism Week. However, these
activities appear to be aimed more at raising awareness than at the implementation of
positive actions. The same applies to projects funded by UNAR to promote a culture of
diversity in the workplace.
Disability, national origin, transgender
Since 2013, UNAR h as been funding a project enti tled Diversity in the Workplace
(Diversità al lavoro) to promote the recruitment of potentially disadvantaged people and
support them in attending job interviews.
In r elation to the grounds covered b y the directives, positi ve action applies in practice,
strictly speaking, only to people with disabilities on the basis of a complex set of rules
contained in Law 68/1999. It should be noted that the aim of this Law is to amend and
partly fill the gaps in Law 104/1992, which provides for measures to support people with
a disability - including those with severe disabilities - in Article 3. In fact, Law 68/1999:
1) provides for some new concrete interventi ons and services; 2) allows some
experimental projects to be implemented; 3) promotes the use of surveys and the
collection of statistical data on disability; and 4) ma kes provision for a national
conference on disability policy to be held every third year. The Law targets local
authorities, which have specific competences to promote actions to support disabled
people, to draft programm es and to provide s ervices for people with di sabilities. During
the first phase of its implementation, this law was financed directly by the state (Ministry
of Labour and Social Policies), which transferred the financial resources to the local
authorities (by the year 2000). Local authorities now provide their own fun ding.
Interventions include different forms of personal care, personal assistance, emergency
short-term accommodation and partial refunds of expenditure on assi stance.

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