The Network for Protection from Discrimination reacts strongly to the unprofessional opinion of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination regarding the complaint filed by the Network’s members against Ilusium – Museum of Illusions for discrimination based on personal and family status upon access to the museum. This opinion is one of the many that showcase the improper and incomplete establishment of the factual situation as well as the improper application of the provisions of the Law on Prevention of and Protection from Discrimination on the part of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination. Such opinions undermine the competence and professionalism of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination and point out to the urgent need of passing a new Law on Prevention of and Protection from Discrimination as well as the urgent need for reconstructing the Commission for Protection from Discrimination.
Namely, the Network reacted to museum’s price list, according to which one adult ticket sells for 300 denars, one ticket for children aged 5 – 14 sells for 200 denars, while a family ticket for two parents and two children sells for 700 denars. This pricelist of the museum discriminates the single-parent families who cannot get a discount for their children. Also, the said family ticket cannot be used by foster families or legal guardians, therefore they are directly discriminated on the basis of personal and family status.
In its opinion registered under number 0801-240/4 as of 16 November 2018, the Commission for Protection from Discrimination disregards the submitted evidence by the Network for Protection from Discrimination. Additionally, in the rationale of the opinion, the Commission says it has enquired Ilusium – Museum of Illusions regarding the allegations in the complaint and was told that the Museum’s price creation policy, which complies with the market value of their services, is not discriminatory (?!) yet it provides favorable conditions to certain categories of citizens and enables larger number of people to visit and enjoy the museum (?!).
The lack of sensibility on the part of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination, as a specialized body for equity and non-discrimination, for single-parent families, foster families and legal guardians who are unable to buy a family ticket at a discount price just as the families with two parents and two children families is worrisome. By doing so, the Commission for Protection from Discrimination foments the stereotypes and stigma regarding the “non-standard” families. In its opinion, the Commission doesn’t provide explanation or arguments as to why the museum’s practice is not deemed discriminatory, although it’s a matter of an obvious case of direct discrimination when it comes to the access to goods and services.
LPPD under the microscope: Monitoring the implementation of the new Law on Prevention of and Protection from Discrimination project is funded by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia. The content is the sole responsibility of the author and the grantee and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia.
—————————————————17 December 2018