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Świdnica fights against discrimination locally with a new public body

Świdnica fights against discrimination locally with a new public body

In response to a growing number of local acts of intolerance

A Council for Equal Treatment was established earlier this week in the Polish city of Świdnica, upon the initiative of Mayor Beata Moskal-Słaniewska. Its objective would be to develop concepts, ideas and solutions for the development of a strategy of equal treatment and anti-discrimination at the local level.

Eradicating discrimination requires strategic thinking

Swidnica, a powiat (county) capital in Silesia with some 60 thousand inhabitants, has a new weapon against discrimination and acts of intolerance. A Council for Equal Treatment consisting of twelve members will soon be tasked with improving the protection of equal rights in Swidnica.

The measure comes in response to a growing number of acts of discrimination, based on racial prejudice, disability, sexual orientation, religion and the socio-economic situation in the region that have been observed lately. Mayor Moskal-Słaniewska, the initiator of the endeavour, commented on the occasion, as quoted on the city website: “In Świdnica, no kind of discrimination or intolerance is allowed, regardless of its basis - gender, age, race or sexual orientation. I encourage everyone for whom the values ​​of equality, freedom, solidarity and respect are dear to participate in the work of the new council”.

The council will operate on a voluntary basis, starting with a first meeting at the end of March this year. The newly established body is currently accepting applications by individuals, residing on the territory of the city, as well as non-governmental organizations and municipal units.

Those who wish to participate may send their declaration of participation to the City Hall or by e-mail at um@um.swidnica.pl by 26 February 2021.

Structures like these are not new to Poland, as similar advisory bodies have been established in larger cities including Gdańsk, Kraków and Bydgoszcz. Furthermore, liberal Polish mayors have been calling for the respect of equality and tolerance faced with an increasing number of the so-called “LGBT free zones”.

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