The name “ombudsman” literally means “representative” in Swedish. At the most fundamental level, an ombudsman is one who assists individuals and groups in the resolution of conflicts or concerns. There are a number of different titles or names for this position: “ombudsman,” “ombudsperson” or “ombuds” among others. Ombudsmen work in all types of organisations, including government agencies, colleges and universities, corporations, hospitals and other medical facilities, and news organisations.
The EU’s Racial Equality Directive defines direct and indirect racial discrimination:
a) direct discrimination shall be taken to occur where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on grounds of racial or ethnic origin;
b) indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put people of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared with other people, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.
The European Union rejects theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races (EU Racial Equality Directive). Racism is contrary to the fundamental values of human dignity, freedom, equality and respect for human rights upon which the European Union is founded. The EU is working, from both a preventative and repressive perspective, to combat all its forms and manifestations. (European Commission)
It refers to Roma, Sinti, Kale and related groups in Europe, including Travellers and the Eastern groups (Dom and Lom), and covers the wide diversity of the groups concerned, including persons who identify themselves as “Gypsies”.
Stakeholders are those people and organisations that are affected by something – for instance a policy, programme, action or organisation – literally, those who have a stake in it. A public policy might have the following stakeholders:
- primary stakeholders – the intended beneficiaries, their families and dependents
- secondary stakeholders – indirect beneficiaries such as representative organisations
- implementing agencies
- supervisory authorities
- government (in terms of its popularity and thus likelihood of re-election)
- beneficiaries of other policies on which there are knock-on effects.
Participation of stakeholders in decision-making is a key fundamental rights principle. It entails being inclusive, for example including people with disabilities or marginalised groups in society so that everybody can be heard on the decisions that affect them.