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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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