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The OND, a leading facility in the fight against discrimination

Published Wed, 29/01/2020 - 18:57

Inclusion. The main causes behind cases handled by the office are racism, xenophobia and LGBTI-phobia.

Victims of discrimination in the city are increasingly approaching the Office for Non-Discrimination (OND). This municipal service has just presented data on its activity in 2019, with figures reflecting an increase in the number of people who received support and advice, as well as those who received training. Numbers for cases of discrimination remain unchanged, but the action taken by the office is more complete.

The OND is a municipal facility which provides support for people who have suffered discrimination in the city, offering them educational and psycho-social assistance, coordination with other services and organisations in the case of referrals, legal advice (formal denouncements, for instance), analysis of possible penalisation and alternative management of conflicts.

The office provided help and information for 439 people in 2019, a significant increase compared to the numbers for 2018 (320). In terms of cases opened for discrimination, the numbers are similar to previous years, although the assistance provided in this year’s 228 cases was more comprehensive.

Prevention work done by the Office for Non-Discrimination is very important. Besides providing information, the office conducts awareness work and offers training for various municipal services, professionals, students and other third parties. A total of 1,138 people received training on human rights in 2019.

Racism and LGBTI-phobia the main causes of discrimination

The main causes of discrimination cases handled by the OND related to racism and xenophobia (43% of cases) and LGBTI-phobia (22%). Both percentages are higher than the those for 2018.

In terms of racism and xenophobia, victims denounce degrading treatment on the grounds of their origins, situations relating to the right to admission at nightlife venues, as well as access to housing, restricted access or refusal of different services offered by banks and discrimination by groups of residents.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual or gender identity occurs in many contexts, such as in schools, on public transport, among groups of residents or in the workplace. Incidents include insults, physical aggression, degrading treatment and humiliation. The City Council has taken the role of private prosecutor in two cases and the OND helped the victims make formal denouncements.

More mediation

In relation to cases opened by the OND last year, 105 involved guidance, support and empowerment of the victim; 95 involved legal advice and support, and 65 involved coordination and referrals to other services. Mediation was also provided in 56 cases, compared to 26 cases in 2018.

 

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