Romania, the first Member State of the European Union to propose intersectional discrimination for regulation

On October 20, 2020, the Chamber of Deputies sent for approval to the Senate the draft law BP 818 / 14.10.2020 on completing and amending Government Ordinance 137/2000 on preventing and combating all forms of discrimination. The proposed regulations transpose the Community provisions, the recommendations of the European institutions and the decisions of the two European courts in the field of anti-discrimination and already precede the European Commission’s announced intention to draw up a comprehensive anti-discrimination directive banning all forms of discrimination. >

The draft law was proposed by the Center for Advocacy and Human Rights (CADO) and was taken over by Mr. Daniel Vasile, Minority Deputy and Ms. Adriana Săftoiu, PNL Deputy who, understanding the need for this project, submitted it to the Chamber. Deputies. Special support for the development of these proposals also came from a group of experts in the field of non-discrimination or education, such as Mr Dezideriu Gergely, Ms Cezara David and Mr Eugen Crai.

The main proposals in this draft law concern the regulation of intersectional discrimination, discrimination by association and segregation, as well as the inclusion in the definition of discrimination of the criteria on citizenship and skin color. The proposed regulations are accompanied by other proposals to correlate previous amendments with the new ones proposed to ensure the necessary conditions of harmony, clarity, precision and uniform application, and the introduction of the amount for aggravated, cumulative and continuous contraventions, which in the case of the last will double.

Through this draft law, Romania & nbsp; paves the way for the prohibition of intersectional discrimination, becoming the first member state of the European Union to try to regulate this discrimination. Although in the last 13 years both the European Parliament and the European Commission have analyzed and reported the scale of the phenomenon of intersectional discrimination and the lack of regulation in the European space, no European state has yet regulated this form of discrimination that mainly affects women, people with disabilities, or belonging to ethnic, national, or other sexual minorities. & nbsp; Intersectional discrimination according to the draft law is defined as & nbsp; any difference, exclusion, restriction or preference based on two or more criteria provided in para. (1) which manifests itself simultaneously and interdependently & nbsp; Specifically, the new regulation will sanction situations in which an older woman was not employed even if she was more qualified due to the fact that she is women and age, the position being offered to a younger man although he had a lower qualification and training than that woman.

The draft law proposes both the prohibition and the sanctioning as an aggravating contravention of segregation & nbsp; on any criterion of discrimination and in all fields of activity. The novelty consists in the fact that it is forbidden, including its promotion, the refusal and lack of desegregation actions, and the obligation is imposed on public and private legal entities to take any necessary measures in order to prevent and combat segregation. The need for this regulation is illustrated by a series of national and international reports that analyzed the phenomenon of segregation in Romania and led to recommendations from international and European institutions for the adoption of effective political and legislative measures to combat and prevent segregation in all areas. The reported data show that the groups of people most affected by segregation are people of Roma ethnicity or people with disabilities in various fields, such as education, health or housing. The European Commission notes that more than 66% of the Roma population live in segregated communities without basic facilities (drinking water, sewage, electricity or paved roads), more than 29% of Roma students study in separate structures, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development & nbsp; (OECD) shows that about 50% of children with disabilities are in special education.

The introduction of the regulation of discrimination on the basis of citizenship and color has been proposed in order to extend the system of legislative and legal protection of vulnerable victims of this form of discrimination. In this sense, statistical data show that immigrants represent the third group as the most discriminated in Romania (69%), after the two traditionally discriminated groups, namely LGBT (74%) and the Roma community (72%), that 50% of population do not trust foreign nationals, and 84% that, skin color is the main cause for not relating favorably to the people concerned (NOintoHATE 2019, CNCD). Also, this project proposes the prohibition of discrimination by association in all fields of activity, not only in the field of work where it was already regulated in May 2020 by & nbsp; Law no. 151/2020 & nbsp; for amending and supplementing Law no. 53/2003 – & nbsp; Labor Code.


Thus, CADO, through those proposals, aimed to improve and expand the legislative and legal framework in order to give victims of discrimination the right to a fair trial and to repair the damage caused by those forms of discrimination that were not regulated but that dramatically affect their lives. CADO also understands that the adoption of this bill is only the first step and its efforts must continue to support victims of discrimination in bringing discrimination cases before the CNCD and the courts, as well as to provide support to public institutions. in implementing the proposed measures.

More information on the bill can be found at:

http://www.cdep.ro/pls/proiecte/upl_pck2015.proiect?idp=18981&fbclid=IwAR3oNWe3fyoEzpcGrveNSk01cACfErMlmm3iY88J8-F941LPeKw3tzJSoi0.

Comparative table on proposed changes http://www.cado.org.ro/uploads/CADO_Propunere_de_modificare_OG_.pdf

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