EU-MIDIS Data in Focus Report 3: Rights Awareness

EU-MIDIS "Data in Focus" report 3 focuses on respondents' knowledge about their rights in the field of non-discrimination, including knowledge about Equality Bodies in Member States. This Data In Focus report on 'Rights Awareness and equality bodies' relates to Article 21, on 'non-discrimination', as enrshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

All 27 Member States of the European Union were included in the survey: between 500 and 1,500 respondents were interviewed in each Member State. The main results emphasise that the majority of respondents are unaware of anti-discrimination legislation. The Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) is the key piece of EU legislation combating discrimination ‘on grounds of race or ethnic origin'. It prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, education, social protection including social security and healthcare, and in access to and the supply of goods and services, including housing.

The Directive has been transposed into the national law of all Member States, although shortcomings in the transposition have been noted in some countries. The Directive stipulates that potential victim groups should be made aware of the relevant transposing (national) legislation.

However, only one in every four survey respondents - 25% - were aware that anti-discrimination legislation on the grounds of race and ethnicity exists in relation to all three areas: employment, goods and services and housing. These findings point to a number of issues for policy makers and practitioners at EU and Member State level in consideration of legislation that has been established to uphold the rights of vulnerable groups in society.