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Towards living together in peace

On May 16, United Nation member states celebrated International Day of Living Together in Peace. The day is observed to regularly mobilise the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony. If we had to encapsulate the vision of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), it would be just that. Simply put, we are working towards living together in peace. The vision of the EOC is “a society which is free from discrimination and prejudice, where human rights and diversity are respected, and where there is equality of opportunity for all.”

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/05/23/towards-living-together-in-peace/

Reasonable accommodation: Role of the employer

In our past publications we addressed reasonable accommodation and the process of requesting accommodation in the workplace. The question you may be thinking is, “What happens next?” If an employee has verbally made a request for reasonable accommodation, it is best practice for the employer to draft a letter, memorandum, or e-mail confirming the request. It may also be beneficial to have the employee submit the request in writing or complete a required form and submit it to human resources.

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/05/16/reasonable-accommodation-role-of-the-

From Russia without love: Discrimination based on a person’s origin

On April 26, the All England Tennis Club, the organiser of Wimbledon, announced that it will ban players from Russia and Belarus from participating in the 2022 tournament, which is due to start on June 27, as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and to Belarus’s support of same. The Russian and Belarus teams have been banned from participating in the Davis Cup, which is a tennis tournament where national teams compete. However, at Wimbledon, and all other Open tennis events (eg, US Open, French Open) players compete as individuals, and not as country representatives. Wimbledon’s decision effectively penalises private individuals, for no reason other than the land where they were born. Without commenting on the merits of this decision or the geopolitical factors behind it, it provides a useful opportunity to discuss discrimination based on origin.

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 https://newsday.co.tt/2022/05/02/from-russia-without-love-discrimination-based-on-a-persons-

Sexual harassment in the world of work

On April 18, we dealt with the recent judgment in the Equal Opportunity Commission and Rishi Persad-Maharaj vs Cascadia Hotel Ltd case where the Court of Appeal recognised that sexual harassment can be a form of sex-based discrimination in employment that is prohibited by the Equal Opportunity Act Chap 22:03 and we said that we will treat with various aspects of this topic in further articles.

Today we will consider what constitutes sexual harassment. This topic is covered in greater detail in our Guidelines on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace which, as we noted before, is available for free download on our website.

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/04/25/sexual-harassment-in-the-world-of-work/

 

EOC Observes Zero Discrimination Day 2022

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) joins United Nations member states to observe Zero Discrimination Day (ZDD) 2022.

ZDD is a global movement that focuses on raising awareness and taking action to ensure that everyone can live a life of dignity and have access to opportunities by ending all forms of discrimination and promoting inclusion. UNAIDS launched the first ZDD in 2014 and it has been observed March 1 every year since. The theme for 2022 is “Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower.”

To read more visit:
https://newsday.co.tt/2022/02/28/zero-discrimination-day-2022

 

Dealing with workplace stress

The Equal Opportunity Commission features a guest column by one of our commissioners, Dr Krystal-Jane Verasammy, who is also a counselling psychologist. The Equal Opportunity Act covers employment as a category under which a person can lodge a complaint, if they have been discriminated based on their sex, race, ethnicity, origin including geographical origin, marital status, disability or religion. We take a moment in commemoration of Stress Awareness Month to address workplace stress.

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/04/11/dealing-with-workplace-stress/

EOC News Issue 11

On the first Tuesday of every month, the EOC, in partnership with TTT will bring together a panel of advocates to drum up conversations and offer solutions for sex and gender-related issues. It is a six (6)-part series, that will be broadcasted live from TTT’s studio. You can also catch the one-hour episodes on TTT or EOCTT Facebook pages. Dike Rostant is the host of the series.

Quality education for all

Young people on the autism spectrum may experience barriers to receiving a quality education. These barriers may include discrimination and prejudice, bullying, limited teacher training and teacher preparation, limited human and material resources and limited administrative support.

This is exacerbated by the covid19 pandemic. According to the UN, “many students with autism have been especially hard hit and studies show that they have been disproportionately affected by disruptions to routines, as well as services and supports that they rely on.”

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/03/28/quality-education-for-all/

Magnifying voices against racism

As the leading state advocate on equality, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) joins United Nations members to magnify the voices of those who experience racism, whose opportunities are limited and who struggle to enjoy basic human rights.

Data at the commission shows that complaints filed based on the status grounds of race and ethnicity are the most lodged complaints that we receive at our offices. In Trinidad and Tobago and in the world, racism exists in undertones and overtones. The keyword, if you would allow us to play on that word, is tone, relating to our voices.

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/03/21/magnifying-voices-against-racism/

Categories covered by the act

The most lodged complaints that the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) receives at its offices are under the category of employment. This has consistently been the trend since the inception of the EOC; sometimes outweighing all other categories combined. However, the Equal Opportunity Act covers four broad categories: provision of goods and services, provision of accommodation, employment and education. It is important to understand the categories contained in the act so that members of the public can access the full range of coverage.

 

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https://newsday.co.tt/2022/03/14/categories-covered-by-the-act/