TheP4st writes: "The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on the application of the Racial Equality Directive of 2000 with 500 votes in favour, 46 against and 24 abstentions. MEPs believe more needs to be done to implement the directive in full, notably on issues such as legal redress, the burden of proof in racial discrimination cases, awareness-raising, data collection and the independence of anti-discrimination bodies. Directive 2000/43/EC known as the Racial Equality Directive, was due to be implemented by all Member States by 19 July 2003. The directive was revolutionary at the time of its adoption because it did not limit protection against discrimination to the area of employment but also covers social security, education and access to housing. However, according to the draft report of the Civil Liberties Committee, authored by Kathalijne Buitenweg (Greens/EFA, NL), questions remain as to the directive's real impact. Not all Member States have fully implemented it in their national law. Not many cases are brought to court, which the rapporteur believes may be due to the length and complexity of the procedures. Proving discrimination is notoriously difficult, and the directive's rules on the burden of proof have not been properly applied in some Member States. Data on race and ethnicity — a useful tool, despite concerns The collecting of sensitive data, which could be needed to establish indirect discrimination or to assess the extent of discrimination in society, continues to raise concerns and fears in many Member States. The committee "underlines that additional guarantees should be provided for data on race and ethnicity, as these data could be diverted and used for other purposes in the justice and home affairs field" but it does believe such data — for example, statistics on racist crime and on employment — are needed as a tool to combat discrimination."
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