The ECCAR Toolkit for Equality



Why should local governments take action promoting equality? Why is anti-discrimination policy at the local level important? How should inequalities be identified and their relevance assessed from a human rights perspective? What goals should be pursued? What topics can be addressed? How can challenges in planning, implementing and evaluating political measures for equality be overcome? What are the key factors for success? What are the keys to sustainable impact?

The Toolkit for Equality addresses these questions in a very practical way. It gives examples and detailed guidance on implementation. All of the information has been collected and elaborated in cooperation with a wide range of local politicians, civil servants, consultants, civil society organizations, lawyers and the local people concerned. This provides a broad expertise on the what, how and when. The thematic chapters on policy models relevant to local governance show the path to success from conceptualization and planning, to implementation, and to impact assessment and evaluation, all following a human rights based approach to the promotion of greater equality.

Please note: each chapter is available in the following languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian and Swedish.

  0. Preface and Introduction

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  1. ECCAR 10 Points Action Plan

The ECCAR Action Plan provides a broad format, applicable to large as well as small cities. It is a format a city can use for a broad scope of action or for focusing on key points. It can be tailored to the urgent issues and priorities faced by a city. The commitments focus on topics that are within the political power of a city. The 10 Point Plan of Action is recommended to be designed as a cross cutting program where different city departments work together, based on the reflection and experience of professionals who collaborate in its drafting, as well as with the active and committed participation of the civil society sector.

  2. Monitoring

Monitoring, as understood in this chapter, means to regularly assess the status of a certain matter, in order to document the evaluation of the situation. The chapter presents three monitoring approaches applied by cities that they consider to be successful: Monitoring racism, racial discrimination and/or on integration of migrants in the city, Inner-administrative monitoring of discrimination, and Monitoring diversity within the city administration. All three have a slightly different focus but are complementary in their results and basic aims. We discuss each variation’s strengths and limits and invite you to choose a combination that best suits your city’s needs.

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  3. Antidiscrimination Office

Antidiscrimination Offices are low-threshold counselling services for all persons who feel discriminated against or treated unfairly. They not only provide legal counselling but can also offer a wider range of support like conflict management, mediation and various kinds of interventions in cases of (suspected) discrimination. Antidiscrimination Offices act as an intermediary between victims or affected persons, NGOs, Equal Treatment Bodies and the parties who are accused of discrimination, be they public officials or inhabitants of the City. They also advocate against discrimination and for equal opportunities.

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  4. Elected Migrant Council

A migrant council is an instrument that allows for a minimum of political representation of city inhabitants who are not entitled to vote in local elections due to their citizenship. In this chapter, we present a migrant council that is a consultative body, established at the municipal level, with members formally elected by its target group. The establishment of a migrant council aims at strengthening societal and political participation as well as an exchange of expertise in order to work together on a good living together of the city population.

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  5. Migrant Citizenship Forum

A migrant citizenship forum is an instrument to allow for a minimum of political representation to city inhabitants who are not entitled to vote in local elections due to their citizenship. In this chapter, we will present the form of a participatory open forum, in order to develop concrete recommendations as to selected issues. The establishment of a migrant citizenship forum aims at strengthening societal and political participation as well as an exchange of expertise in order to work together on a good living together of the city population.

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  6. Door Policy Panel

This chapter focuses on preventing and fighting discrimination in access to various types of catering establishments (restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques etc.). A door policy panel is a commission for door policies at bars and discotheques. The panel assesses the door policy of clubs, bars and similar businesses, listens to and investigates complaints about supposedly unjust refusal of visitors on the various discrimination grounds.

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  7. Diversity Management in the City Administration

This chapter provides you with practical guidance on a comprehensive diversity policy in administration, including advice on how to develop measures that increase diversity in city staff and improve accessibility of city services to all city inhabitants. To support diversity in day-to-day work, the chapter also discusses diversity trainings for city employees and suggests a follow-up on the measures implemented by means of diversity monitoring.

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  8. Welcome Services for New City Inhabitants

Newly arrived immigrants are confronted with an unfamiliar system, complex legal regulations and a new language. Welcome services provide information and advice for new inhabitants. The services help the new arrivals with orientation in the city, information on the necessary administrative/legal steps and guidance concerning accommodations, schools, medical care, recognition of qualifications etc. The services therefore contribute to new inhabitants’ integration and participation in the city’s society.

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  9. Improving Access to Services for Marginalised Groups

This chapter is about the provision of special municipal services complementing regular services, in education, healthcare and social support. These special services aim at facilitating the access to regular communal services for marginalised groups. The concept is needs-based instead of based on personal characteristics, like ethnicity, gender or age. The services are usually accompanied by mentoring and coaching programmes.

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  10. Adequate housing policies

This chapter starts by discussing how to provide emergency shelter for newly arrived immigrants. It then addresses the accessibility of housing by suggestions on raising awareness and forming alliances in counteracting discrimination in the housing market. Finally, the aspect of acceptable housing is addressed by summarizing cities’ experiences in improving basic infrastructure and social inclusion of marginalized city neighbourhoods.

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  11. Combatting racism and hate speech: building a non-racist society

This chapter is about promoting a city society in which the democratic values of solidarity, tolerance, mutual knowledge and respect for diversity come first, and that inspires opposition to all kinds of racism and xenophobia. The goal is to encourage active citizenship, democratic engagement and engagement for diversity. Therefore, the municipality works together with a number of stakeholders to develop and implement strategies for respectful diversity and against extreme right, xenophobic, anti-democratic and racist tendencies.

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12. Sports

Cities have discovered sports programs as measures to counteract discimination, promote inclusion and strengthen human rights in various ways. Through sports, it is possible to reach many groups and communities and to share important messages. As sport can be used as a bridge between cultures, religions and ethnicities it has a high potential as a means to combat all forms of discrimination and to promote social inclusion. This chapter derives from the experiences of six cities with different approaches to sports for inclusion.

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The Toolkit for Equality was realized in three steps:

  • Part I departed from conceptual clarifications and the relevance of the effort in the context of the international and regional agenda in fighting racism and racial discrimination. It consisted of desk research and clustering of possible policies and measures against discrimination.
  • Part II consisted of the findings from a survey among 40 European cities on their policy approaches to counteracting racial discrimination. It provides an overview of the policies implemented in those cities and analyses in detail 25 promising policy examples from 23 cities in 10 European states. Policies within the same category are then synthesized into six model policies that highlight the characteristic factors of promising policies and should serve as inspiring models for other cities.
  • Part III, the Toolkit hereby presented, provides very concrete and practical advice on the process of implementation, on the challenges to expect and the strategies to mitigate the challenges. Part III is based on the experience of the implementers of these policies, as expressed in personal interviews and focus group discussions.

Among the hundreds of good practices, the ones selected for the Toolkit for Equality were considered successful in terms of enhancing equality, guaranteeing equal treatment, promoting equal opportunities and/or fostering inclusion and participation. The policies presented are based on evidence as to why and how they were successful, i.e. how change in society towards the equality goals could be achieved. This distinguishes the ECCAR Toolkit for Equality from other collections of practices in this field.

The project was coordinated by ETC Graz, realized with the following partners:

Stockholm University – SU (Sweden)

University of Padova - Human Rights Centre - HRC Padova (Italy)

Centre for European Constitutional Law – CECL (Greece)

Otherness Foundation - NEKI (Hungary)

Cidalia (Spain)

European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR e.V.)

UNESCO as member of ICCAR

Special thanks to the former and present presidents of ECCAR, Jean-Paul Makengo and Benedetto Zacchiroli, for their outstanding support facilitating the creation and publication of the Toolkit for Equality.

The Toolkit for Equality is realized with support of the European Commission, UNESCO, the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR), Open Society Foundation - At Home in Europe, ETC Graz, and the cities of Bern, Bologna, Esch-sur-Alzette, Ghent, Graz, Potsdam, Rotterdam, Vienna, and Zurich.

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union (ADPOLIS JUST/2014/RDIS/AG/DISC/8084). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ETC Graz and its partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.