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The principles of equality and non-discrimination, a comparative law perspective - Canada

26-11-2020

This document is part of a series of studies, which, in a comparative law perspective, seek to present the principles of equality and non-discrimination in different States. This study examines sources of equality law and judicial interpretation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Canada. Contemporary equality law was a response to histories of both public and private discrimination in Canada. Statutory protections for equality and non-discrimination emerged in the post World ...

This document is part of a series of studies, which, in a comparative law perspective, seek to present the principles of equality and non-discrimination in different States. This study examines sources of equality law and judicial interpretation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Canada. Contemporary equality law was a response to histories of both public and private discrimination in Canada. Statutory protections for equality and non-discrimination emerged in the post World War II era and were expanded and consolidated in the 1960s and 1970s. Constitutional reforms in the 1980s enshrined equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Since then, equality jurisprudence has expanded the interpretation of discrimination to include direct, indirect and systemic discrimination. Courts have rejected formal equality to embrace expansive notions of substantive equality in interpreting constitutional protections. Even with such strides over the last decades towards robust equality and non-discrimination principles and protections, just and effective implementation of their promise remains a pressing challenge for Canada.

Externí autor

Professor Colleen SHEPPARD, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Towards a new EU gender equality strategy

05-02-2020

Full gender equality is far from being achieved, and this has implications for the lives and life chances of individual women, girls, boys and men, the communities they live in and the EU as a whole. The European Commission has included a proposal for a new EU Strategy on Gender Equality in its work programme for 2020. It is due to give a statement on the proposal during Parliament's plenary session in February.

Full gender equality is far from being achieved, and this has implications for the lives and life chances of individual women, girls, boys and men, the communities they live in and the EU as a whole. The European Commission has included a proposal for a new EU Strategy on Gender Equality in its work programme for 2020. It is due to give a statement on the proposal during Parliament's plenary session in February.

Commitments made at the hearing of Helena DALLI, Commissioner-designate - Equality

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Helena Dalli, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect ...

The commissioner-designate, Helena Dalli, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Fight against discrimination; - Rights of Persons with Disability; - European Gender Strategy; - Work–Life Balance Directive; - International Partnerships:Empowering women and girls; - Cooperating with the European Parliament and with other Commissioners.

What if technologies replaced humans in elderly care?

08-10-2019

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care?

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care?

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Helena Dalli - Equality

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2017

10-01-2019

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee ...

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee report on the situation of fundamental rights in 2017 is scheduled for debate in plenary during January.

Religion and human rights

21-11-2018

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and ...

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and promotion of human rights, both in the world and in the European Union. International human rights bodies have even formalised the participation of religious actors, mostly through exchanges and dialogues, and the European Union is no exception. Its Article 17 Dialogue with churches, religious, philosophical and non-confessional organisations offers an opportunity for those groups to make their voices heard at EU level. Religious actors have made significant contributions in, for example, migration, deradicalisation, social justice and education for tolerance. However, the role of religion in the human rights arena is sometimes perceived as challenging, since some religious actors and some secular human rights actors may not see eye-to-eye in some areas. Experts therefore suggest that it is important to maintain that all human rights have equal worth, that everyone who may be affected by the issue is included in the dialogue, and to try to find a compromise that will not alienate any party from further cooperation.

What if algorithms could abide by ethical principles?

20-11-2018

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively ...

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively using algorithms. Algorithms implicitly or explicitly are not neutral as they comprise essential value-judgments that can potentially have race or sex biases. This raises an important question: is it possible to develop and ensure that algorithms are ethical?

Implementing the EU-Georgia Association Agreement

07-11-2018

Four years after the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) was signed in 2014 and two years after its entry into force, the European Parliament is evaluating the level of implementation of the AA and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) has given a positive assessment, but has also encouraged Georgia to address a number of shortcomings, in areas such as labour standards, environmental protection and discrimination against vulnerable ...

Four years after the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) was signed in 2014 and two years after its entry into force, the European Parliament is evaluating the level of implementation of the AA and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) has given a positive assessment, but has also encouraged Georgia to address a number of shortcomings, in areas such as labour standards, environmental protection and discrimination against vulnerable groups and women. Parliament will debate the issue at its November I plenary.

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