Tuesday, 27 July 2021 09:35

French equality body sounds alert about extension of COVID-19 pass Featured

Since President Macron announced the extension of the COVID-19 pass on 12 July to combat the spread of the delta-variant, including making COVID-19 jabs compulsory for healthcare professionals, French citizens and politicians have expressed their disagreement.

The ten points to be monitored include the need for a democratic debate, intelligibility of the text, restrictions on access to public transport and goods and services, control of population, employment discrimination, risks of infringement of children’s rights, people living in poverty, extended isolation measures, risks related to data processing and compulsory vaccination for some work categories.

In 2020, more than 165,000 requests for assistance or advice have been received, which led to 96,894 files of complaints. Despite a 6% decrease in claims, security ethics cases have increased by 10.5%, according to their annual report, showing that the pandemic and lockdowns have impacted citizens’ freedom.

They have already received numerous complaints since the announcement of the introduction of the COVID-19 pass, “all of which illustrate that the haste and the difficulty of understanding certain provisions are likely to hinder the exercise of rights and freedoms in a manner that is not proportionate to the objective pursued.”

Powers of inquiry and intervention

In all EU countries, equality bodies have been created, following Race Equality Directive in 2000. The Equinet Network, meanwhile, enables members to share their expertise at European level.

Like other countries, France has extended this directive to all discrimination provided for by the law.

The French institution, led by Claire Hédon since last July 2020 on a 6 year mandate, has powers of inquiry and powers of intervention. It can resolve a conflict by mutual agreement by making recommendations or through mediation/conciliation, to intervene in support of a civil or criminal transaction, to request disciplinary action against an security officer, to request observations before a court in order, and to recommend sanctions by the administration against a physical person or legal entity at the origin of discrimination. Its actions are supported by the work of regional delegates, 400 persons working on a voluntary basis which represent the institution across France.

EU’s anti-racism coordinator: Collecting equality data is vital tool in fight against racism

Without measuring and quantifying the extent of discrimination and inequalities in Europe, it becomes very difficult to effectively tackle them, the EU’s first anti-racism coordinator, Michaela Moua, told EURACTIV.

Michaela Moua is a former basketball player and Finnish justice ministry official. …