brussels - Victims and witnesses of discrimination should receive assistance in a lawsuit from government institutions dealing with unequal treatment. The European Commission proposes that member states give such bodies more powers and strengthen their independence.
They must have sufficient budget for that. The idea is that they can represent victims in court. They must also be able to gather evidence themselves and act in collective matters. This may involve discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age or disability.
'We need good laws and strong and independent equality bodies to defend our core values so that victims of discrimination can claim their rights in the event of an abuse,' said Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
In the Netherlands, every municipality already has the duty to set up an anti-discrimination agency. Sometimes they also provide legal assistance. 'It is well organized in the Netherlands,' says a spokesperson for the Dutch Institute for Human Rights.
According to her, the Netherlands already meets the standards. 'In many other EU countries this is not always the case, so such a measure from Europe is very good. Reinforcement can ensure that victims are better off. '
Brussels also wants the national institutions to communicate better with each other and colleagues in other member states. The prince of the human rights college recognizes that aid in the Netherlands is very fragmented. 'And elsewhere in Europe, you have to search for the right way. 'Because the college itself speaks justice, according to her this is not the right institution to play a role in advocacy.
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