Topic: Discrimination and Racial Justice

Briefing Paper

Q&A: Bringing a Case Before the International Court of Justice for the Rights of Afghan Women and Girls

This paper considers 21 questions around the feasibility of bringing a complaint at the International Court of Justice against Afghanistan's Taliban for egregious and prevalent violations of women’s and girls’ rights.

April, 2024
First page of PDF with filename: Q&A-Litigating-for-the-Rights-of-Afghan-Women-and-Girls-Before-the-ICJ-Final.pdf

The Ongoing Segregation of Roma Children in the Czech Republic

This report, presented to the European Commission in January 2024, presents new evidence indicating that the Czech Republic's discriminatory treatment of Roma children is in breach of the European Union's Racial Equality Directive.

January, 2024
First page of PDF with filename: 25.01.24-Report-on-ongoing-segregation-in-the-Czech-Republic-(002).pdf

A Legal Victory in the Drive to End Racist Police Tactics Ethnic Profiling

Mohamad Wa Baile, a Swiss citizen, complained to the European Court of Human Rights that he had been subjected to a discriminatory stop by police in Switzerland. The court ruled in his favor, marking a step forward in the drive to eliminate racially-biased policing in Europe.

March 08, 2024 | Susheela Math
A person stands at a train station.

Wa Baile v. Switzerland

Mohamed Wa Baile claimed to have been subjected to ethnic profiling in 2015, when he was stopped by police officers in a train station in Zurich and told to identify himself. In 2018, Wa Baile complained to the European Court of Human Rights,which found in his favor in February, 2024.

Last update: February 20, 2024

State Human Rights Obligations Regarding the Distribution of Scarce Health Resources

This report offers a comprehensive overview of case law concerning the rights to life, health, and nondiscrimination in international, regional, and national systems.

November 2023 | John Harrington and Asteropi Chatzinikola
First page of PDF with filename: state-human-rights-obligations-regarding-distribution-of-scarce-health-resources-20231031.pdf

Q&A: The Human Rights Lessons from Bulgaria’s COVID-19 Failures

A lawsuit against Bulgaria under the European Social Charter seeks to reinforce citizens’ protections in the future—by highlighting policy failures that left the country with the highest COVID-19 death rate in Europe.

October 16, 2023
A woman getting a vaccination shot in her arm.
Press release

As Denmark Plans Housing for Ukrainian Refugees, Justice Initiative Renews Calls for Abolishment of “Ghetto Package”

New measures to override Denmark’s “Ghetto Package” to allow Ukrainian refugees to move into government-designated “vulnerable housing” areas adds to justifications for abolishing these discriminatory housing laws and ensuring that better access to housing and education for all refugees, argues the Open Society Justice Initiative.

April 29, 2022
Briefing Paper

Restrictions on Muslim Women's Dress in the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom

This policy brief and accompanying fact sheet map EU and UK laws and pending legislation restricting religious dress—specifically the headscarf and face veil worn by Muslim women.

March 2022
First page of PDF with filename: policy-brief-restrictions-on-muslim-women's-dress-03252022.pdf

Evidence Suggests Evictions in a Danish Neighborhood were Racially Biased. Now the Case is Before the High Court.

This case may set an important precedent for standards for discrimination in Denmark.

February 22, 2022 | Maïté De Rue & Joana Clemens
People standing in a courtyard between two apartment buildings while a woman wearing a hijab speaks into a microphone.

Denmark’s Discriminatory “Ghetto Package”: Demographic Reports on Nøjsomhed-Sydvej, Helsingor, and Evicted Households

Reports by the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus University analyze demographic trends in Nøjsomhed-Sydvejand, a neighborhood in Denmark designated as a "ghetto" under the government's controversial "Ghetto Package," and three comparator areas, as well as the demographics of 96 forcibly-evicted households in Nøjsomhed-Sydvejand.

February 10, 2022
First page of PDF with filename: report-nøjsomhed-sydvej-and-three-comparator-areas_102021.pdf
Press release

The Justice Initiative Supports French Youth in Complaint Against Wrongful Lockdown Fines

Over thirty teenagers and young adults from the French working-class district of Essonne are challenging penalties they received during the Spring 2020 coronavirus lockdown for violating a stay-at-home order, claiming that the fines are unlawful, inappropriate, and discriminatory.

December 09, 2021
Advocacy update

ECHR Fast-Tracks Case on Racial Profiling by Police in France

Over four years after Seydi and others v. France was filed before the European Court of Human Rights, the tribunal has designated this case on racial profiling by police as a priority for more expeditious processing by labelling it as a potential “impact” case (“affaire à impact”).

October 19, 2021
Press release

New Kenya High Court Judgment Sets Important Precedent for Digital ID Privacy Protections and Processes

The Justice Initiative welcomes a Kenyan High Court judgment declaring the data collection and roll-out of biometric Huduma cards for the country’s digital ID system, the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), unconstitutional.

October 15, 2021

Implementing Human Rights Decisions: Reflections, Successes, and New Directions

This publication takes stock of the growth and change in the field of human rights implementation, and how to ensure legal decisions can be realized.

July 2021
First page of PDF with filename: implementing-human-rights-decisions-20210721.pdf

Class Action Lawsuit against French Government for Ethnic Profiling by Police

The Justice Initiative, along with partner NGOs, filed the first class action lawsuit in France to end ethnic profiling by police, who disproportionately target people based on their skin color or presumed ethnic origin.

Press release

A Class Action Lawsuit in France Challenges Racist Police Tactics

Civil society organizations including the Open Society Justice Initiative are seeking systemic changes from France’s Council of State.

July 22, 2021

Why We Are Going to Court to Fight Racist French Police Tactics

Two French activists are demanding systematic action to address deep-rooted patterns of ethnic profiling in police stops.

July 21, 2021
A police officer searches a man in a pedestrian plaza
Press release

ECJ Reaffirms Restrictions Excluding Muslim Women in the Workplace

The top European Union court has made it clear that employers can restrict the wearing of "religious symbols," such as Islamic headscarves, but only in limited circumstances, which will stigmatize Muslim women.

July 15, 2021

Ending Ethnic Profiling to Keep Our Communities Safe

A new guide shows how to build creative campaigns and community power to finally put an end to ethnic profiling by police in Europe.

April 28, 2021 | Maryam H'madoun
A protest in France against racism in policing.
Press release

Justice Initiative Joins Groups in Giving Notice of Class Action Lawsuit against French Government for Ethnic Profiling by Police

The Justice Initiative has joined civil and human rights groups in sending a letter of notice of a class action lawsuit against the French government for police identity checks that perpetuate ongoing and systemic ethnic profiling.

January 27, 2021
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