Jersey to get discrimination law in 2014

Shoppers in Jersey About 25% of people responding to a survey in 2012 said they felt discriminated against

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A new discrimination law in Jersey could be in place by 2014, according to the social security minister.

The first part of the Discrimination law was presented in Jersey on 15 January.

Senator Francis Le Gresley said the new law would prohibit any type of race discrimination including in work, recruitment, education and clubs.

He said that sex, age and disability discrimination would be outlawed in the future.

Sex discrimination

Senator Le Gresley said sex discrimination will be the second area the law will focus on.

He said: "We felt that racial discrimination was the easiest aspect to introduce at the outset.

"We have international conventions that the UK ratified many years ago and so it is time we met our international obligations."

Start Quote

We are trying to be an international island playing on an international field.”

End Quote Senator Francis Le Gresley Social Security Minister

Bob Hill, from the Jersey Human Rights Group, said that the island needed a commission for equality and human rights.

A 2012 social survey showed 25% of respondents felt they had been discriminated against in some form in the past year.

Nearly 2,500 households responded to the survey in June.

More than a third of people born in Portugal and a quarter of Polish nationals living in the island said they had been unfairly treated because of their race.

He said his group should not be necessary and the States needed to take more responsibility.

He said: "We are trying to be an international island playing on an international field and we don't have simple laws dealing with discrimination."

Community relations expert Dr Elena Moran said employers in Jersey needed to prepare for the new law.

She said that although the law was not likely to come into force until 2014 employers should get ready now.

"It is very important people start getting their systems in place now."

The draft law is due to be debated by politicians in May.

If approved by the States and the UK Privy Council the protection against race discrimination is expected to come into force in early 2014.

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