Ethnic Monitoring - The processing of racial and ethnic data in anti-discrimination policies : reconciling the promotion of equality with privacy rights

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  • Volume 6
  • : Bruylant
  • : 01/01/2010
  • : 9782802727972
  • : Anglais
190 pages


Antidiscrimination law is changing rapidly throughout Europe. It is moving from standard-setting to practical implementation. Pressed by civil society movements and international bodies tasked with monitoring equality, policy-makers are in search of new and more effective modes of combating discrimination and promoting equality. The issue of the processing of data relating to ethnicity and religion has become central to these developments. The availability of such data is recognized as playing an increasingly important role in the fight against discrimination. In order to elaborate policies designed to promote equality, States must be able to identify the nature and extent of discrimination, the groups affected by discrimination, and the fields in which discrimination occurs. To this end, they must have access to sufficiently precise information on the situation of members of vulnerable groups in the diverse fields of social life, such as employment, education or housing. In addition, the regular production of new statistical studies enables public authorities to monitor the implementation of equality policies and assess their impact. Private actors such as employers who aim to develop an equality plan in their company must have the means to assess the extent to which potentially discriminated groups are adequately represented in their workforce. Finally, the laws of several European Union member States allow the person who claims to be the victim of discrimination to have recourse to statistical data to prove indirect discrimination.
However, in many European countries, the collection of data needed to fight racial and ethnic discrimination remains a matter of public controversy. And existing personal data protection legislation is often seen as an obstacle to the processing of such data, which international and European norms treat as highly sensitive. This book maps this debate, at a moment when it is emerging on continental Europe; and it seeks to move the debate forward. The authors explore to what extent and under which conditions the data needed to combat racial and ethnic discrimination can be collected, while fully respecting the rights of individuals. They clarify the implications of personal data protection under European law. Additionally, they discuss the issues raised by the construction of racial or ethnic categories, and by the choice of the criteria which will be relied upon to classify individuals into such categories. The analysis is based on international human rights law as well as on the laws and practices of several states. These various practices are reviewed in order to highlight the tensions and difficulties raised by the enterprise of classifying individuals into racial or ethnic categories for the purposes of anti-discrimination policies. The authors conclude that human rights standards, and in particular the right to privacy, do not preclude the collection of data on racial or ethnic origin for antidiscrimination purposes, although they define fundamental safeguards and limits that constrain
the extent to and the manner in which this type of information can be gathered and processed.
The Authors
Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, is professor at the University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium, and at the College of Europe (Natolin). A member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University, he was a Visiting Professor at Columbia University when this book was being prepared. Julie Ringelheim is Senior Researcher at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and member of the Center for Philosophy of Law of the University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium. She teaches international human rights law at UCL. While this book was being prepared, she was a Global Research Fellow at New York University (NYU), affiliated with the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
ISBN13 978-2-8027-2797-2
EAN 9782802727972
Titre Ethnic Monitoring - The processing of racial and ethnic data in anti-discrimination policies : reconciling the promotion of equality with privacy rights
Date de parution 01/01/2010
Nombre de pages 190
Numéro de volume 6
Type d'ouvrage Autres documents
Support Livre
Langue Anglais
Auteur(s) Olivier de Schutter, Julie Ringelheim
Editeur / Collection / Sous-collection Bruylant
Thème Droit > Droit international et étranger > Droit étranger
Format Papier

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