Prior to the advocacy training, Dr. Ivan Ivanoe held a lecture on EU anti-discrimination law based on the "Racial Equality Directive" with PhD students of the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Firenze.
For many years the focus of EU action in the field of non-discrimination was on preventing discrimination on the grounds of nationality and gender. In the year 2010 however, also thanks to ERIO's advocacy actions, the EU countries approved unanimously new powers to combat discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The EU also issued an Employment Equality Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.
Dr. Ivanov explained direct and indirect discrimination and their negative impact on society through a richness of examples, especially concerning the ROMA population. Examples of direct discrimination included dismissing someone because of a protected characteristic, deciding not to employ them, refusing them training, denying them a promotion, or giving them adverse terms and conditions all because of a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination occurs when an organisation's practices, policies or procedures have the effect of disadvantaging people who share certain protected characteristics.
The discussion was animated around the role of education in preventing and eradicating discrimination: education alone cannot make a durable change, since it also needs to work hand in hand with stakeholders from the labour market, the cultural and social sector, among other.