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Identifying barriers to more effective application of anti-discrimination legislation in relation to unemployed persons

Supported by: The Slovak Republic Government Office, European Commission

Project span:
April 2007 – November 2007

Project team:
Mgr. Martina Sekulová; PhDr. Oľga Gyarfášová, PhD.

This research project identifies barriers to the more effective application of anti-discrimination legislation in relation to vulnerable group of long-term unemployed people. Some of them have even multiple disadvantage, in particular it is the combination of age, sex, disability, ethnicity and region. Though the region has not been defined as a disadvantage in the call, it comes out that it may have a significant influence on the target group. Within the group of unemployed people a special attention will be paid to the long-term unemployed.

The project focuses not only on unemployed people but also on institutions approached by the unemployed when trying to enter the labour market (notably the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family and potential employers).

So, the focus of the project will be the description of “mental” barriers – prejudices and stereotypes in regard to “differences”, which eliminate to understand and respect equal opportunities for all, sometimes multiple discriminated (gender, age, race/ethnicity, disabled persons) in a case of a concrete target group – unemployed persons.

As for a disadvantaged group of unemployed people, the research would primarily focus on the following issues:

1. at the level of attitudes and awareness – the level of awareness of the unemployed people of the right to equality and non-discrimination

2. at the level of personal experience – experienced and perceived discrimination, specific expressions of discrimination when trying to enter the labour market.

3. Which disadvantages do present the largest barrier to the employability?

4. Stigmatization of unemployed people – fiction or reality? Does the stigma arise after the registration at the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family? What impact does have the experience of being a member of a disadvantaged group on an unemployed person trying to enter the labour market?

5. What connotations/stereotypes do arise about the unemployed/disadvantaged people in relation to the labour market?

As for the representatives of institutions, including employers:

1. at the level of attitudes and awareness – the level of awareness of the right to equality and non-discrimination

2. mental barriers to inclusive attitudes (stereotypes about the disadvantaged and.....)

3. real-life experience – what are the factors of exclusion from the labour market (discrimination in the context of other factors).

The project will present a study of “applied equality of opportunities” in case of a specific disadvantaged group. However its overall aim is to identify cross-cutting problems related to the more effective application of anti-discrimination legislation on the two complementary poles:

A. vulnerable group

B. institutions supposed to ensure non-discrimination environment.

Findings and analysis will be published in a very accessible form in a working paper.

Official web page - European Year of Equal Opportunities for All:

Stop discrimination campaign: www.stop-discrimination.info 

and activities of Slovak Family Planning Association: www.rodovarovnost.sk 

Presentation of the project Unemployment and Discrimination (PDF file, 580 KB)

Survey Report, full version Unemployment and Discrimination (PDF file, 790 KB)

Discussion forum, Rimavska Sobota, July 16, 2007

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