AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

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AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

IV. Putting equality into practicesatisfied with the results of those discussions I can come back, and I willcome back next month, or in six months and check up on what has beengoing on. And if I am not satisfied with that I can make proposals to thegovernment and they know that I can do that, which may in turn perhapslead to other kinds of actions, new laws, or executive orders to the lawenforcement bodies from the government doing things on sexualorientation. Whilst an NGO will be received, probably in my country atleast, with a lot of interest and very politely, and hopefully that will havegood effects, but if an NGO is not happy, what are they going to do? Theycan come back and complain. […] What we have seen is that somethingvery, very different happens when you have this actual official body thatsays: “look, it’s the law. I didn’t invent this”. I can say that to government aswell: “If you think I am being difficult, then sorry, you told me to bedifficult. The parliament told me to be difficult. It is not my idea, this is thelaw, this is the government regulation dealing with the office”. And thatgives a totally different locomotion to the whole issue. I have been reallysurprised: I could not have dreamed of the possibilities that would open upjust by the fact that this is a public body, not just an NGO. (H. Y.)On the other hand, in some cases NGOs can actively contribute tothe establishment of equality bodies, by using their lobbying effortsand offering their practical expertise accumulated in the course of theirinterest representing activities. This can indicate that having a publicanti-discrimination agency is also perceived to be important and usefulby civil society actors. This is what happened in Romania:We had an emergency ordnance in 2000 which collected all these antidiscriminationprovisions. It was specifically mentioned in the ordnancethat this law should be implemented by an anti-discrimination body. Thisis instrumental, because without a specialised agency you cannot expectpractical effects from this law which is the Hungarian case or the Bulgariancase right now [in 2004]. […] Civil society realised that the political will ofthe new government which was elected in November 2000 was not strongenough to implement an anti-discrimination law, which gave us enoughopportunity to discuss and to come up with a solution we can achieve atthat moment in order to have an anti-discrimination body. [We] actuallymade a proposal […] to sue the Romanian government because they [thegovernment] did not respect the terms of the law. In less than two weeksthe government issued a decision, a governmental decree, establishing ananti-discrimination body which is called the National Council forCombating Discrimination. That was a good example of applying pressure.[…] In 2001 the Romanian government issued a decree, but it took at leastanother year till the moment of the creation of that body. In the meantimewe [ACCEPT] again tried to put pressure on the Romanian government tocome up with a decent list of people who could be nominated to the board109

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