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How can European cities tackle discrimination and promote equality? ©, 2021

To help reverse this trend, many European cities have taken concrete steps to tackle discrimination and foster equal treatment at local level.

The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 will celebrate these cities and showcase their practices promoting respect to people’s rights.

There are many ways cities can champion equality. This ranges from access to services to ensuring that recruitment processes are free from discrimination. It can also include promoting equality and diversity in the city management.

For example, the city of Vienna set up a comprehensive Gender Equality Monitoring. It aims to measure diversity in areas such as political participation, education and training, work and health, and highlights where improvement is needed.

Other cities link their activities promoting equality with principles of solidarity or community building.

Gdansk established an Integration Model to deliver equal quality of public services. The model aims to ensure that solidarity is part of the city’s culture, building on the history of the Solidarnosc movement.

The Plan Einstein project in Utrecht brings together migrants and their neighbours to develop activities, learn and work together in an equal way.  

In Bilbao, social justice, equality and solidarity are all linked in the newly established Charter of values. It serves as the basis for improving the quality of life and well-being of people, and guides the future development of the city.

Cities can also set up anti-discrimination offices, as established in Valencia, or run anti-rumour campaigns, as developed in Barcelona. These campaigns aim to tackle prejudices and stereotypes that sow the seeds of racist attitudes and discriminatory practices.

Networks of cities such as the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) and the Council of European Intercultural Cities Programme have greatly supported cities through guidance, capacity building and best practice exchange.

Many of the cities taking positive action to tackle discrimination and promoting equality have declared themselves as ‘Human Rights Cities’.

They are taking human rights as the guiding principles for all decisions and strategies at the city level.

The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 will bring together human rights cities and showcase their experiences in protecting and promoting fundamental rights in their decision making.

To support their initiatives, FRA will release a framework of commitments for human rights cities in the European Union at the Forum.

Join us at the Forum to discover more!

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