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We ask the Assembly to adopt the law by consensus and to amend the procedure for election and appointment of the members of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination

 

 

Today, the Network for Protection against Discrimination organized the National Conference on Non-Discrimination “EVERYONE, NOW! The responsibility of the institutions for unification against discrimination ” in order to appeal for improvement of the situation with non-discrimination through the adoption of the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination as well as for the transparent and fair election of members of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination by the Assembly. Apart from the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, the conference also discusses access to water in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic as an issue of racial discrimination against Roma. The Conference also presents the Report on the monitoring of the work of the Ombudsman with a focus on prevention and protection against discrimination (2010-2019), which maps the key shortcomings in the work of the institution and provides recommendations for improving the legal framework and practices of the institution.

“At today’s conference, we mark the ten years of dedicated work of 11 civil society organizations united in the Network for Protection against Discrimination. In order to solve the identified problems with discrimination of citizens, coordinated and joint action of civil society organizations and that is why the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia participated in the initiative to establish the Network and actively supports its work since its establishment in 2010” said FANI KARANFILOVA -PANOVSKA, Executive Director of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia.

She called on the parliamentary political parties, signatories of the Declaration on Priority Adoption of the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination – to adopt this Law by consensus, which will show that they did not support the Declaration only on paper during the election process. At the same time, she pointed out that it is necessary to immediately start the procedure for election of new members in the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, in order for the citizens to finally get better, more professional and more effective protection of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, JAGODA SHAHPASKA, stated that the protection against discrimination is high on the agenda of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, so the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination is the first legal solution proposed to the Assembly. She asked the MPs to adopt the law as soon as possible, in order to promote the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Minister Shahpaska also appealed for a transparent selection of experts in the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination.

NATASHA BOSHKOVA from the Coalition Margini, the Network for Protection against Discrimination stated that the Government rejected the request of the Network for Protection against Discrimination, for amendments to Article 18 in order to set guards for the independence, transparency and inclusiveness of the procedure, following the procedure election of members of the SCPC. She asked the Assembly to propose an amendment to Article 18, and the members of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination to be elected on merit, not according to party interests.

MAJA MORACANIN, MP from the Green Party DOM said “I am glad that the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination is among the first laws reviewed by this parliamentary composition, as we promised to the citizens. This is a key law for the promotion of human rights and freedoms, as well as prevention and protection against discrimination of all citizens in Macedonian society, and especially for marginalized groups of citizens who are often victims of hate violence and hate speech. In this context, it is extremely important that in this law, sexual orientation and gender identity are explicitly stated as grounds for discrimination, which will contribute to greater protection against discrimination of one of the most marginalized communities, LGBTI.”

Maja Moracanin stated that she will submit as an amendment the request of the Network for Protection against Discrimination for amendment of Article 18, in order to have a more transparent procedure for the election of members of the CPD, which will contribute to greater trust of citizens in the institution.

VMRO DPMNE MP RASELA MIZRAHI also participated in the conference, emphasizing that the party will support the law, as a signatory of the Declaration for priority adoption of the law, and will consider the amendment to Article 18.