€20 million from EU will fight all types of discrimination

The European Union today announced a €20 million ($24.8 million) program to fight “any kind of discrimination — whether based on gender or sexual orientation, religion or belief, race or ethnic origin, or disability” anywhere in the world.

Andris Piebalgs (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Andris Piebalgs (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The funds will be provided to non-governmental organizations and “civil society groups” that combat discrimination, the EU said.

“It is clear that no country can develop in the long term when some minorities face serious threats, intimidation and even violence because of who they are,” said Andris Piebalgs of Latvia, European commissioner for development.

Requests for funds will be accepted in 2013.

The announcement of the new program occurred at a meeting titled “Discrimination hampers Development.”  Representatives of many Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries boycotted the event because the topic included a discussion about how to fight discrimination against LGBT people.

The new €20 program is designed to complement the work of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, or EIDHR.  That organization “supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) groups around the world – monitoring information on LGBTI rights, raising awareness on this issue and supporting individual cases through prison visits and court hearings. It also provides emergency assistance (from psychosocial assistance through to medical care) to the most vulnerable LGBTI people in need of support.”

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