People have the right to be treated with dignity and their human rights should be enjoyed, protected and promoted. Equality should be at the heart of our societies and discrimination in all its forms should be eliminated.
Today throughout Europe people do not have equal opportunities. In 2012 close to a fifth of Europeans (17%) reported that they had personally experienced discrimination or harassment and over a third (34%) have witnessed or heard of someone suffering discrimination or harassment. Discrimination plays a crucial role in preventing people from accessing education, employment and goods and services. This exclusion increases the risk of further discrimination and poverty and hinders access to human rights which stops people from developing to their full potential.
For everyone to fully participate and contribute to society we need to combat discrimination in all its forms and ensure equality in every sector. That is why human rights and equality is at the core of all our work. We believe we have to ensure equality in order to achieve sustainable, economic and inclusive growth – diversity is an asset.
The EU has a role to play in ensuring there are minimum requirements that enforce human rights. All grounds of discrimination should be prevented not just within the labour market but also in accessing goods and services and people should not have to choose between family life and professional life. We work to remove any obstacles that people may face in enjoying their human rights.