Sunday, 17 April 2011

Malta Today: Equality Commission to study LGBT and racial groups discrimination

NCPE launching the 'Think Equal' project

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) is launching a new EU co-financed project targeting youths, professionals and academics on multiple discrimination.

NCPE Executive Director Romina Bartolo said the aims of the project are to stimulate debate on equality, diversity and multiple discrimination within the various spheres of society.

The 'Think Equal' project is estimated to cost some €250,000, co-funded by EU PROGRESS funds.

Referring to a study conducted by NCPE, Bartolo said in Malta, 57% of those interviewed perceived discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation to be widespread in Malta, whereas the European average is of 47%.

The same study also revealed that racial discrimination stands at 77% in Malta, unlike the European average which stands at 61%.

"Due to the high percentages, NCPE felt the need to focus on sexual orientation and racist discriminations," Bartolo said. She added that the project will cover all discriminatory grounds.

"It is important to tackle the issue of multiple discrimination, as research shows that a person can be discriminated against on more than one issue," Bartolo said.

The 'Think Equal' project will included qualitative studies on discrimination experienced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and racial groups in Malta.

A survey will be carried out amongst youths to measure the participation, level of awareness and acceptance of equality and diversity and occurrence of discrimination.

NCPE's Projects Executive Lara Bezzina said the target audiences will be youths, professionals and academics. She said that adverts, posters and leaflets will be disseminated amongst post-secondary students.

"Artistic exhibitions, competitions and a music concert to highlight discrimination in Malta will be carried out," Bezzina said.

The winners of the competitions will be announced during the music concert, which will include various musicians from different cultures and ethnicity.

"For the professionals and academics, a symposium on multiple discrimination will be organised to bring together experts who will deliver researched papers at the event," Bezzina said. She added the symposium will enable the creation of networks which will in turn have a ripple effect.

NCPE will also organise a training seminar to provide participants with an understanding of the equality legislative framework and equality concepts at play while bringing them in contact with victims of discrimination.

[P. Attard's Note: For further information on this project: VS/2010/0569 Think Equal, contact NCPE on 25903850 or]

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