Discrimination and Equality
We work to ensure equal treatment and equal access to public services for everyone, regardless of their ethnic background or identity.
Together with the rest of the Open Society Foundations, we share a vision of society where everyone can expect fair treatment, regardless of who they are.
We work primarily in Europe, forming partnerships with local groups and communities, and also engaging with state institutions to address discriminatory policies and practices. We support and empower communities facing systemic discrimination to advance equality, including Europe’s historically excluded Roma communities. We pursue advocacy and legal interventions to secure meaningful equality in housing, education, and other public services. We are also active in efforts to eliminate racial discrimination in policing, and to combat restrictions on religious dress and other issues that are shaped by prejudice and stereotypes rather than reality.
Case Watch: German Court Sides with Muslim Women Teachers Over Discriminatory Headscarf Ban
A recent judgement by Germany's top labor court is expected to end a decades old court battle over headscarf bans for teachers.
Under Suspicion: Speaking Out about Ethnic Profiling in Spain
Ethnic profiling is common in Spain. Research consistently shows that police disproportionately stop and check minority groups throughout the country.
Q&A: My Fight to Save My Home Under Denmark’s Harsh “Ghetto Plan”
In Denmark, Open Society Justice Initiative partnered with local residents to stop mass evictions and save their homes under the country’s controversial and discriminatory “Ghetto Package.”
Tenants of Mjølnerparken v. Danish Ministry of Transport and Housing
Twelve Copenhagen residents have filed a lawsuit against the Danish government seeking a declaration that measures under the country’s so-called Ghetto Package are unlawful under EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Zeshan Muhammad v. Spain
Ethnic profiling by law enforcement officers continues to be a persistent and pervasive practice throughout Spain, particularly in the context of immigration control.
D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic
In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Roma children in the Czech Republic face systematic discrimination. But the Czech government has yet to take steps to remedy continuing school segregation.
Equality Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Adopts New Resolution on Police Profiling
The Open Society Justice Initiative applauds the adoption of a draft resolution by the Equality Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calling on all European States to pass laws to ban ethnic profiling.
Justice Initiative Expresses Concern over Trump Administration Proposal to Expand Biometric Surveillance on Immigrants, U.S. Citizens
The Justice Initiative is expressing concern over a Trump administration proposal to expand the use of invasive data collection in the U.S., which could lead continuous surveillance of immigrants and their families.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is Deploying a Massive New Database to Gather Biometric Information
A new U.S. Department of Homeland Security biometric database is projected to contain information on hundreds of millions of people by 2022 and represents an alarming development to scale up the agency's surveillance and information-sharing ability.
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