ROMANIA NATIONAL COUNCILFORCOMBATING DISCRIMINATION Roma in an Expanding Europe Budapest 30th of June – 1st of July 2003 Cristian JURA
The structure of NCCD • President • Steering Board – Composed of 6 + the President, all jurists, appointed by the PM from lists proposed by 7 different Ministries • Secretariat – 4 • Department of Ensuring the Respect of Non-discrimination - 2 • Department for Affirmative Politics and Studies - 5 • Juridical Department – 1 • Administrative Department – 6 • Inspection Team – 1
The activity of NCCD In the exercise of its functions The National Council for Combating Discrimination independently carries out its activity, without any restriction or influence from other institutions or public authorities.
The Independence of the Activity • the Council’s budget is projected until 2006 as a task resulted from the National Programme for Accession into the EU and for the implementation of the National Plan for Combating Discrimination • the National Council can apply contravention sanctions even to the central and local public administration’s authorities • the recruitment of its personnel has made by the Council itself • the members of the Steering Board are appointed for a period of 7 years and the procedure for changing them is very complicated art 5 paragraph (7) – G.D. no 1194/2001 • by law, some of Council’s functions can be established by the Parliament art. 2 paragraph (2) – G.D. no 1194/2001 • most of the Council’s activities are focused on the relation with the Trade Unions, the Employers and NGO`s
The guidelines of the activity 1. Prevention 2. Sanction 3. Cooperation
Principles of the activity • Information • Access • Transparency
1. Prevention • The second draft of the National Plan for Combating Discrimination • Instruction regarding the discriminatory restrictions promoted by the media advertisements in the field of employment -published in the Official Journal nr.235/ 7th of April 2003 • Consultancy for the discriminated persons (56 persons in 2003)
2. Sanction • TheSteering Board play a key role in identification and sanction the discrimination deeds • The Steering Board analyze complains and decide if there was a discrimination or not and sanction the identified discriminations • The Steering Board has applied 16 sanctions in 2003
Race Nationality Ethnicity Language Religion Social status Beliefs Gender Sexual orientation Disability HIV/AIDS Chronic non-infectious diseases infections Refugees Asylum seeker Grounds of discrimination covered by Romanian law
Fields of Discrimination • Equality in the economic activity • Access to legal, administrative and health public services • Access to education • Freedom of movement, choice of residence and access to the public places • Personal dignity
2.1 Petitions • In 2002 NCCD received 132 petitions • In 2002 NCCD solved 115 • In 2003 NCCD 221 • In 2003 NCCD has solved 165 • In 2003 NCCD has applied 16 sanctions (2 sanctions for petitions received in 2002) • The rest are on different stages
2.2 Ways to solve a petition • Direct ways – sanctions • Indirect ways – mediation between different entities (with success, Moisei case, Maramures county), this is not yet provided by the law
Case Law • 25.02.2003 - establishing a hostile, degrading, offensing atmosphere towards the rroma ethnic community, the right to personal dignity, 20.000.000 ROL, President of the County Council Prahova • 10.03.2003establishing a hostile, degrading, offensing atmosphere towrds the rroma ethnic community, the right to personal dignity, 2.000.000 ROL, Ziua newspaper, Bucharest
11.03.2003establishing a hostile, degrading, offensing atmosphere towards the rroma ethnic community, the right to personal dignity, 2.000.000 ROL, Bucovina Sev newspaper,Suceava • 11.03.2003establishing a hostile, degrading, offensing atmosphere towards the rroma ethnic community, the right to personal dignity, 2.000.000 ROL, Ziua de Vest newspaper Timisoara • 11.03.2003equal opportunities in employment process, gender issues, warning, Planet Prices srl Bucharest • 8.04.2003forbidden access in public places for rroma people, the right to personal dignity, 2.000.000 ROL, Casablanca disco,Botoşani
8.04.2003forbidden access in public places for roma people, the right to personal dignity, 4.000.000 ROL s.c. Beni-Carmen s.r. l. Buzau • 20.04.2003equality in employment, discrimination on age, 5.000.000 ROL, Brigade for the Protection of Human Rights • 23.04.2003equality in employment, discrimination on gender, warning, S.C.Dance Club S.A. Focsani
3. Cooperation • National Alliance against Discrimination – an open-ended forum for debates, established in April 2003, composed of NGOs, social partners and NCCD (42 members at the moment) and observers from UE Delegation, Ministry of Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNHCR and UNICEF • Interministerial Committee on Discrimination is in an advanced stage to be established • University program – NCCD wants to create research units on discrimination within universities, to use universities as think–tanks, to train students and professors, to disseminate information – 6 universities have confirmed their participation • Protocols with different Ministries : are on an advanced stage of negotiation with Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity, Ministry of Public Administration, etc.
Issues identified for the amendments of the legal framework • Victimization • Harassment • Multiple discrimination • Instruction to discriminate • Improve the definition of indirect discrimination • Mediation
Burden of Proof – an issue? Council Directive 2000/43/EC, art. 8 • Member States shall take such measures as are necessary, in accordance with their national judicial systems, to ensure that, when persons who consider themselves wronged because the principle of equal treatment has not been applied to them establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination, it shall be for the respondent to prove that there has been no breach of the principle of equal treatment. • Paragraph 1 shall not prevent Member States from introducing rules of evidence which are more favorable to plaintiffs. • Paragraph 1 shall not apply to criminal procedures. • Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall also apply to any proceedings brought in accordance with Article 7(2). • Member States need not apply paragraph 1 to proceedings in which it is for the court or competent body to investigate the facts of the case.
Procedure • The Steering Board of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, exercising its deliberative role, analyzes the petitions and complaints received (art. 2 letters g and k - G.D. no 1194/2001) and adopts by decisions (Para 6 – G.D. no 1514/2002), the appropriate measures, after investigations carried out by the specialized personal of the Council (Para 10 – G.D. no 1514/2002).
Compensations • For all discrimination cases, the victims are entitled to claim damages, proportionally with the prejudice, as well as to the re-establishment of the situation prior to the discrimination or to the annulment of the situation created by discrimination, in accordance with common law. • Upon request, the court can order that the competent authorities withdraw the license of legal entities that significantly prejudice the society by means of a discriminatory action or, although have caused a minor prejudice; repeatedly violate the provisions of the legal framework. • Human rights non-governmental organizations can appear in court as parties in cases involving discriminations pertaining to their field of activity and which prejudice a community or a group of persons.
Conclusion We do not want to act just as an singular institution for combating discrimination, we want to create an effective system for combating discrimination