The PSOE has returned to retake the law of equal treatment and non-discrimination. The socialist group in Congress has registered the rule alone this Thursday, despite the fact that it was part of the agreement of the coalition government with United We Can. The objective is the prevention and elimination of all forms of inequality in Spain, after several failed attempts in previous legislatures. Already in 2011, the change of Government paralyzed its processing and the same happened in 2019 with the electoral call.
The law seeks to “create an effective instrument against any discrimination that any person may suffer and that addresses all areas from which it may occur, embracing the most modern conception of human rights,” says the text presented in Congress, at that elDiario.es has had access. What it does is deploy a set of measures in social areas such as education, health, private business, employment, housing or the media. And it encompasses all types of discrimination: based on race, sex, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation …
Among other things, it provides for the design of an Equal Treatment Strategy and also the creation of an “independent” authority that at the state level “protects and promotes” non-discrimination and ensures the purposes of the norm. It is a Commissioner for Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination, in the style of others that already exist like the one in charge of the fight against poverty. He will be appointed by the Government for non-renewable five-year terms.
Among its functions, it will be the accompaniment of people who have suffered a discriminatory act and even mediate in their processes, provided that it is not a criminal or labor issue. You may investigate ex officio and take legal action if you have evidence of any fact, in addition to bringing them to the attention of the Public Prosecutor. In addition, it will be responsible for promoting studies, reports and statistics on the subject. In this last point, the norm also incorporates the obligation to have data, beyond the complaints of hate crimes that are already counted now: there will be judicial statistics that will also inform the meaning of the processes and the sentences handed down.
To guarantee equal treatment in education, the bill includes the suspension of any form of public funding for centers that exclude the entry of certain people for discriminatory reasons. They should also avoid “concentration in the same center of students with specific educational support needs”, include teacher training in educational attention to diversity, and encourage the inclusion of study plans “contributing to the assessment of cultural differences, as well as such as the recognition and dissemination of the history and culture of the ethnic minorities present in our country ”.
Discrimination in the search for housing
Furthermore, among other requirements, the text is committed to addressing situations of discrimination in the search for housing in Spain. With this objective, it seeks to specifically prohibit the rejection of an offer to purchase or rent accommodation on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability, etc. when a public announcement had already been made about it. As well as the imposition of discriminatory conditions.
The criteria for admission to establishments and spaces open to the public are other aspects specifically addressed by the legislative proposal. For this, it intends to prohibit discrimination “in the conditions of access to the premises” and the permanence in them, as well as in “the use and enjoyment of the services provided”, although without prejudice to the existence of organizations aimed at groups historically discriminated against. To ensure the lack of differentiated treatment in these cases, the proposal requires that the requirements of the right of admission must be placed “in a visible space”.
The use of discriminatory profiles in police operations, such as identifications based on ethnic or racial traits, is also addressed by the regulations. “The security forces and bodies will avoid the use of discriminatory profiles without an objective justification,” says the text, which also includes private security services.
The law, which the PSOE has presented as a bill in Congress, has been one of the flags defended by the socialists in recent years and is part of the government agreement with United We Can. Together with the comprehensive LGTBI law and the Trans Law prepared by the Ministry of Equality, and which will foreseeably be known in the first draft this January, it makes up the legislative package announced by the coalition partners on non-discrimination.