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Positive Action and the Link with Ethnic Data

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter considers the notion positive action and the link with ethnic data collection. It discusses working definitions used by various actors in the absence of a generally accepted legal definition of positive action and identifies its group-focus, proportionality, and temporary nature as key elements. Positive action is also compared to and delineated from other concepts and instruments, including indirect discrimination, reasonable accommodation, genuine occupational requirements, equality mainstreaming, and equality impact assessments. The boundaries of the traditional approach to equality are explored and it is considered whether positive action constitutes an exception to, or an aspect of, the equality principle. Next, the chapter delves into the six factors creating a wide variety of positive action measures. There may be differences according to the discrimination grounds, beneficiaries, and fields covered as well as regarding their nature and implementation. Because positive action may also vary greatly per type, special consideration is given to the difference between soft measures that do not include preferential treatment and strong measures that do. The chapter emphasises the need for an analytical and regulatory framework, the active participation of all stakeholders, political will and funding, and reliable ethnically disaggregated data when implementing positive action schemes. Furthermore, this chapter explores the five main justifications of positive action. Measures may pursue compensational, cultural, societal, pedagogical, and/or economic aims. Lastly, the possible barriers to, and limits of, positive action are considered.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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