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Minority Rights and Cultural Rights 10 February 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Minority Rights and Cultural Rights 10 February 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Minority Rights and Cultural Rights 10 February 2011

2 The fundamental principle of equality Art. 65 of the Constitution “Everyone shall be equal before the law and enjoy human rights irrespective of sex, religion, opinion, national origin, race, colour, property, birth or other status. Men and women shall enjoy equal rights in all respects.” Has been incorporated into a number of legal acts in Iceland Minority Rights

3 International Conventions The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe of 1995 Has been signed by Iceland but not ratified Preparation Work for the ratification is in progress in the Ministry of the Interior The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages Has neither been signed nor ratified by Iceland Ratification of the Charter has not yet been prepared in Iceland Minority Rights (2)

4 Parliamentary Resolution on an action plan on immigrant issues. The Resolution was Adopted in May 2008 by the Althingi Over 90 actions to improve the integration of immigrants and facilitating their participation in Icelandic society whilst pursuing their cultural traditions Four actions in the action plan aim specifically at combating prejudice and discrimination: Campaign against prejudice and antagonism Education and awareness-raising against prejudice and antagonism. Civics instruction (information package)for immigrants Educational and awareness-raising material on gender equality issues. Minority Rights (3)

5 The Development Fund for Immigration Issues The Fund’s purpose is to enhance research and development projects in the field of immigration issues, with the goal of making it easier for immigrants to adjust to Icelandic society and of improving society’s preparedness to accommodate immigrants. Priorities 2010 included in particular projects that combat prejudice and increasing multicultural competence 16 projects are being funded through the Development Fund Minority Rights (4)

6 Legislation in preparation The Anti-Discrimination Directives 2000/43 & 2000/78 Directive 2000/43/EB (racial or ethnic origin) and Directive 2000/78/EB (employment and occupation) Two separate reports recommended implementation of the Directives Ministerial Committee Report 2008 and ECRI Report 2009 (The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) Law proposal implementing the Directives is expected to be presented to Althingi in spring 2011 New legislation on integration A proposal is being prepared by the Integration Council Minority Rights (5)

7 National legislation Art. 65 of the Constitution on equality Articles 125, 180 and 233(a) of the GPC prohibit hate speech, insulting lawfully existing religious communities and discriminating against a person in the course of doing business. Art. 125 Anyone officially ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship of a lawfully existing religious community in this Country shall be subject to fines or imprisonment for up to 3 months. Lawsuits shall not be brought except upon the instructions of the Public Prosecutor. Art. 180 Anyone who in the course of business or service practice refuses delivery of goods or services to a person in equal measure to others on the basis of the nationality of the latter, colour, race, religion or sexual inclination shall be subject to fines or imprisonment for up to 6 months. The same penalty shall apply to refusing a person admittance to an official place of gathering or other places open to the public. Art. 233 a Anyone who does by means of ridicule, calumniation, insult, threat or otherwise assault a person or group of persons on account of their nationality, colour, race, religion or sexual inclination shall be subject to fines or imprisonment for up to 2 years. Measures against racism and xenophobia

8 National legislation (2) A new draft bill on the Media was submitted to Althingi in November 2010 The bill stipulates that it incitement of hatred based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, opinion or cultural, economical or social status in the society, is forbidden in the media The bill has gone through its first discussion (of three) and is currently being discussed in Althingi’s Education Committee. Measures against racism and xenophobia (2)

9 Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law The provisions of the GPC are not fully in line with the Framework Decision Thus legal measures are needed in Iceland in order to ensure compatibility Mainly amendments to Art. 233 a Measures against racism and xenophobia (3)

10 International conventions ratified by Iceland CERD ICCPR ICESCR International conventions signed by Iceland Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems Ratification process has begun and legislative amendments are being prepared in the Ministry of the Interior Measures against racism and xenophobia (4)

11 Since Iceland is not a member of the EU it does not participate in the work of EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency Iceland participates in many international instruments aimed at promoting human rights Legal amendments are not considered necessary in order for Iceland to participate in the work of the FRA The EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency

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