Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Putting a stop to discrimination

This week in Brussels we are debating and voting on the European Parliament's position on a new anti-discrimination directive. Labour MEPs have been campaigning for such a directive for many years now and it is in no small measure due to the efforts of some of my colleagues, including Michael Cashman and Claude Moraes, that the Directive will now become a reality.

At present, European anti-discrimination legislation prohibits discrimination and harassment on all grounds (race, ethnic origin, gender, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation and disability) in the labour market. But as regards the provision of goods and services, discrimination is only outlawed on the grounds of race and gender. This is unacceptable and the European Parliament's vote is an important step towards ensuring that people cannot be denied access to goods and services because of their sexual orientation, age, religion, belief or disability. I can see no good reason why this should not be the case. It will go some way to help create a fairer society.

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