Budgetary cuts should not be equality blind

Budgetary cuts should not be human rights and equality blind, PACE Committee on Equality said today. In this regard, human rights and equality impact assessments are essential in order to take informed decisions and mitigate as far as possible the impact of austerity measures on vulnerable categories of persons.

Adopting a report prepared by Nikolaj Villumsen (Denmark, UEL), the parliamentarians said that maintaining a high level of social protection and combating inequalities can contribute to stimulating growth and to reducing poverty in the long-term.

Therefore they notably called on European governments to promote and encourage the participation of vulnerable categories of persons in recovery planning, to step up efforts to combat gender-based discrimination on the labour market, including maternity discrimination, to ensure adequate funding to assistance and protection services for victims of domestic or sexual violence and to give more attention and invest in combating youth unemployment and social exclusion of young people.

The report will be debated by the Assembly during its next plenary session (26-30 January 2015).