Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Tackling discrimination based on social origin

The Parliamentary Assembly today underlined that, across Europe, people's social origin, their conditions at birth, played a strong role in determining their future, their access to education and life-long learning, their employment prospects, and their chances of social mobility.

The resolution adopted by PACE, based on the report by Selin Sayek Böke (Turkey, SOC), stresses that discrimination based on social origin – prohibited in a large number of international instruments, but rarely taken into account in national legal systems – increases poverty and social exclusion and results in class pay-gaps, that persist throughout people’s lives, even at the same level of education.

The Assembly therefore called on member States to clearly prohibit this form of discrimination in legislation and provide for individual remedies accessible to victims. “To avoid continually reproducing this phenomenon, legislation must be accompanied by measures to better recognise merit and promote social mobility and social justice,” the parliamentarians said.

Stressing that this form of discrimination occurs from early childhood and persists throughout education and access to employment, PACE also called on States to ensure free and accessible public provision of early education and childcare services; to provide free, equitable and quality education to all, regardless of social origin and throughout the life cycle; to design redistributive fiscal policies that will enable the cycle of material deprivation inhibiting social mobility to be broken; and to formalise recruitment and promotion procedures and make them transparent.