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Fundación Secretariado Gitano welcomes the initial processing of the Comprehensive Law on Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination [editar]

On 16 February, the Spanish Congress agreed to hold debate on the Draft Law


Fundación Secretariado Gitano welcomes the initial processing of the Comprehensive Law on Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination

From the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) we want to express our satisfaction at the beginning of the processing of the Comprehensive Law for Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination, with the registration of a parliamentary initiative of the Socialist Group on January 21 and it approval as a Proposal of Law last February 16.

FSG has taken an active role in the different working groups for the drafting of this Law, since the beginning of its preparatory work twelve years ago and throughout the four previous attempts in parliament. We hope that this attempt will be the last and will culminate in the adoption of legislation that we consider absolutely essential to combat anti-Gypsyism and the discrimination suffered by the Roma community on a daily basis.

The truth is — as we have been documenting over the past sixteen years in our Annual Reports on “Discrimination and the Roma Community” — on many occasions the people we assist in the claims process end up without an adequate response from the institutions. This leads victims to distrust the system and further exacerbates the phenomenon of under-reporting among the Roma community.

We believe that the draft law which has now been submitted for debate in Parliament, once approved, will constitute a major step forward in the fight against anti-Gypsyism and discrimination, as it contains two fundamental elements of anti-discrimination law in line with European and international standards for the protection of human rights: (i) the establishment of an administrative penalty system for incidents of discrimination that do not constitute a criminal offence, including a provision on the reversal of the burden of proof [1]; and (ii) the creation of a truly independent equal treatment body with the capacity to assist victims of discrimination and to ensure effective enforcement of the law.

In short, we hope that this law, an essential advancement of Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution, will be approved as soon as possible with the contributions of civil society organisations and the unanimous support of all parliamentary groups. At FSG, we will be working tirelessly on this initiative both as an entity and within the scope of our partnership in the Alliance for a Law on Equal Treatment.


[1] This means that where the complainant provides sufficient evidence of discrimination, the onus falls on the defendant to prove that they did not discriminate. Entities that work to protect human rights have long urged states to apply the reversal of the burden of proof in all non-criminal cases of discrimination, as it is often almost impossible for victims to prove discrimination.