National Office against Racial Discrimination - UNAR


UNAR is the Italian Office against Racial Discrimination. Operating since November 2004 with the purpose of promoting equal treatment and removing all forms of racial and ethnic discrimination,
UNAR monitors the impact of discrimination on men and women as well as explores the relationship with other forms of discrimination, such as those based on culture or religion.

Brief history

UNAR was created by a Legislative Decree, number 225 on 9 July 2003, as part of the European Directive 2000/43/CE, to promote the principle of equal treatment of individuals, independently of their race or ethnic origin. UNAR has become an institutional point of reference for the acknowledgement and understanding of the rights of immigrants as well as a catalyst for those individuals, associations and local agencies who work on a daily basis to stem racial discrimination. Since 2011 UNAR is the National Contact Point for social inclusion of Roma people. The office was founded in order to translate the new legislative ordinances and legal instruments adopted by Italy to protect the rights of immigrants and ethnic minorities through the delivery of concrete operational responses which meet the requirements of social inclusion for foreign communities to eliminate every form of harassment or discrimination, direct or indirect, based upon ethnicity, race, religion or culture. The interventions put in place by UNAR have gone beyond providing free legal assistance to the victims of discrimination. They identify and break down, wherever possible, the structural factors of discrimination. By altering the system it promotes collaboration, bringing together local and national levels, to promote a significant cultural change.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media


  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

  • 1 Director General
  • 2 Managers
  • A working group made up of 8 permanent staff members of public administrations, holding a management position and competent on specific issues (complaints, hate crimes, awareness raising) and 30 external experts working on specific issues, grounds of discrimination or projects (European Social Fund initiatives, Roma
    issues, territorial antennas, communication).
  • Specific desk officers in outsourcing, offering help for specific areas (Roma complaints, discrimination cases on the grounds of disability, LGBT and age)

Additional details

UNAR was set up within the Department for Equal Opportunities under the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, article 7 of Legislative Decree 215/2003 pursuant to European Council Directive 2000/43/EC. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is the competent political authority for the Department of Equal Opportunities, while the Ministry of Cooperation and Integration is the political reference for the work of UNAR as the National Contact Point on Roma.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

We are accountable to

  • National Parliament
  • National Ministry