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.
It has the mission to:
• provide independent assistance to victims of discrimination through a network of centres all over Spain:
• conduct analyses and studies and publish independent reports
• issue 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 Health, Social Services and Equality, through the Institute of Women and for Equal Opportunities (IWEO), but outside its hierarchical structure. 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.
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 Health, Social Services and 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. In addition, this law introduces some changes in the wording of Law 62/2003 in order to stress its independence in the implementation of its functions. All in all, the changes introduced aim to improve its visibility and to facilitate citizens, in particular potential discrimination victims, access to its services.
The core function of the Council is to grant independent assistance to victims of racial or ethnic discrimination. This is done by the Assistance and Orientation Service to Victims of Discrimination on Grounds of Racial or Ethnic Origin. This Service is based on a public contract and implemented through a network of 8 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). The main contractor is the NGO Fundación Secretariado Gitano. 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 filing 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:

  • 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)212534376556222
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

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 committees. Currently, there are four standing committees 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 Equality and Non Discrimination, within the Institute of Women and for Equal Opportunities, 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 Social Services and Equality proposes and the Minister for Health, Social Services and 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 of the Institute of Women and for Equal Opportunities.

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

We are accountable to

  • National Ministry
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)