National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to include sexual orientation and gender identity
This was a historic week for LGBT rights in Malta with the passing of two legislative amendments that widen the scope of hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity and extend the remit of the Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE).
The NCPE remit which previously covered only gender in all spheres and race outside of employment has now been significantly expanded to include not just sexual orientation and gender identity but also religion and age. This will hopefully be accompanied by an increase in financial and human resources that will allow the Commission to carry out its new mandate.
The NCPE has a number of functions including the monitoring of employment adverts and other communication media to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination legislation. It also offers mediation services which can be important in encouraging those LGB persons who are not out and prefer a confidential and less public process than the employment tribunal to come forward and report incidents of discrimination in employment. The NCPE also administers an equality award for employers whose scope can now be widened to include the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The MGRM views the NCPE as an important ally and partner in achieving equality for the LGBT community in Malta and we hope that the collaborative relationship which already exists will continue to flourish.