Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination


The Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination is the Spanish Equality Body pursuant to Directive 2000/43/EC. The main role of the Council is to promote the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination  on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, and to provide assistance to victims of racial discrimination, in areas such as education, health, access to benefits, social services, housing, employment, training, etc. and in general to any goods or services.
The Council is competent to:
• provide independent assistance to victims of discrimination through a network of centres all over Spain:
• conduct analyses and studies and publish independent reports
• draft recommendations and proposals regarding equal treatment and non discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin

Brief history

The Council is the Spanish Equality Body pursuant to article 13 of Directive 43/2000/EC and is administratively attached to the Ministry of  Equality, through the Directorate-General for Equal Treatment and  Ethnic-RacialDiversity. It was set up by Law 62/2003, transposing into Spanish law Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC, and is governed by Royal Decree 1262/2007,  subsequently amended by Royal Decree 1044/2009 .

The Council is a collegiate body and includes representatives of the national, regional and local administrations, of social partners and of 10 NGOs working for the promotion of equal treatment and non discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin (ACCEM, CEAR, Spanish Red Cross, Fundación CEPAIM, Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Movimiento contra la Intolerancia, MPDL, Unión Romaní, Rumiñahui, Red Acoge).
All its members, including the President, are appointed by the Minister of Equality for a renewable, three years term.
In 2014, the Council changed its name from Council for the Promotion and Non Discrimination of People on grounds of their Racial or Ethnic Origin to the current, more user-friendly one. The change was implemented through Law 15/2014 on Rationalization of the Public sector and other administrative reform measures.
The core function of the Council is to grant independent assistance to victims of racial or ethnic discrimination. This activity  is carried out by the Assistance and Orientation Service to Victims of racial or ethnic Discrimination.

This Service is based on a public contract and implemented through a network of 9 NGOs specialized in the field of fight against discrimination and who are also members of the Council for the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination (Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, Spanish Red Cross, Accem, MPDL, Fundación Cepaim, Movimiento contra la Intolerancia, Red Acoge y Rumiñahui).  The contract has been awarded to the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (Roma Secretariat Foundation), an entity with a long history in the field of equality and non-discrimination, which acts as coordinator. The network has offices distributed all over Spain and a coordination office based in Madrid.
The services offered range from general information, investigation and mediation to reporting to police and prosecutors and filling complaints with the Ombudsperson, public authorities, inspection services and consumer organizations. The majority of the cases reported concern discrimination in access to employment, access to goods and services, including housing, discriminatory behaviour and harassment at schools, discrimination in public places and security, as well as discriminatory and hate speech in media and social media.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Representing in front of courts
  • Strategic Litigation with the victim´s consent and the agreement of the Directorate General.


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)212534376556222561588
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media


  • Collegiate headed equality body (led by a distinct board/commission)

Management details

The management structure is composed of the President, the first and second Vicepresidents and the members of the Council. The Council organizes its preparatory work through standing and ad hoc Working Groups. Currently, there are four standing Working Groups dealing with Assistance to Victims of Discrimination, Legislation, Surveys and Reports and Communication. In addition, there is a Permanent Committee which has the task of preparing the Plenary Sessions. The Deputy Director General for Equal Treatment and Ethnic-Racial Diversity and Non Discrimination,  acts as Secretary of the Council and provides administrative assistance and technical support.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Secretary of State for  Equality and against Gender Violence proposes and the Minister of Equality appoints the President. The first Vicepresident is appointed by the Minister based on the proposal of the NGOs and the Social Partners represented in the Council. The second Vicepresident is the Director-General for  Equal Treatment and Ethnic-Racial Diversity.

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

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

We are accountable to

  • National Ministry