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Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14986 | 04 October 2019

Tackling discrimination based on social origins

Signatories: Ms Selin SAYEK BÖKE, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Fourat BEN CHIKHA, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Erika BENKŐ, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Jette CHRISTENSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Andon DONCHEV, Bulgaria, NR ; Ms Tarja FILATOV, Finland, SOC ; Ms Zita GURMAI, Hungary, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Mr Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Sweden, UEL ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Christophe LACROIX, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Maria RIZZOTTI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Roman ROMANENKO, Russian Federation, NR ; Ms Petra STIENEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Laurence TRASTOUR-ISNART, France, EPP/CD

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only those who have signed it.

To what extent does being born in a certain neighbourhood or belonging to a certain social class impact a person’s life chances and outcomes?

Few European States directly measure this phenomenon, and most do not include social origins as a protected ground in their anti-discrimination legislation. Reliable data is therefore often lacking in this field. Crime statistics often focus on the ethnic origin of perpetrators or victims, where such data is collected, yet ignore the extent to which socio-economic (dis)advantage shapes individual and collective experiences of the criminal justice system. Having the wrong address is often cited as a reason why certain candidates are not invited to job interviews; yet most research in this field focuses on individuals’ ethnic origins and/or religious beliefs, rather than on their social origins.

When public policy fails to take due account of discrimination based on social origins, it cannot provide effective responses but instead, serves to perpetuate the system that produces such discrimination. This is a denial of equality and of social justice.

Failing to address these issues may leave States in breach of their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) and the European Social Charter (ETS No. 35), both of which expressly prohibit discrimination based on social origin. Through the preparation of a thorough, evidence-based report, the Parliamentary Assembly should adopt a set of recommendations aimed at supporting States in redressing this situation. It should also promote sharing of experience and good practice.