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Tackling Multiple Forms of Discrimination in Tunisia (Points anti-discrimination)

Duration: February 2018 – July 2021

Country: Tunisia

Communities: Various

Overview of the programme

This programme, ‘Pour la consolidation des capacités de la société civile tunisienne dans la lutte contre les formes de discrimination‘ (Strengthening the capacity of the Tunisian civil society in fighting against all forms of discrimination), also known as ‘Points anti-discrimination‘ (Anti-Discrimination Points, PAD), was implemented in partnership with Damj, a Tunisian civil society organization (CSO) working towards justice and equality. The objective of this programme was to strengthen the fight against all forms of discrimination in Tunisia, with a focus on both racial discrimination (against black Tunisians and sub-Saharan migrants) and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE). The programme focused on supporting CSOs in identifying, documenting, reporting and litigating against cases of discrimination that are based on race, ethnicity, nationality and/or sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the programme aimed to raise awareness about racial and sexual discrimination, targeting national/international stakeholders, the media and the Tunisian population, in order to push for the implementation and strengthening of anti-discrimination policies and practices.

The programme’s approach to achieve its goals included providing small grants to Tunisian CSOs for the creation of PAD, small grants for advocacy programmes, capacity building of local partners on various topics, legal-aid to victims of discrimination, trainings of lawyers on anti-discrimination and trainings for journalists on non-discrimination and diversity in the media. It also included the publication of two analytical reports of incidents of discrimination documented by the PAD in 2019 and 2020.

This work was supported by the European Delegation in Tunisia and was carried out over 42 months, ending 31 July 2021. The programme was initially implemented in the following governorates: Tunis, L’Ariana, Bizerte, Sousse, Monastir, Sfax, Gabes, Medenine and Tataouine. In the last year of the programme (July 2020-July 2021), we expanded our work to include all Tunisian territories (24 governorates) thanks to the overlap with the new programme ‘All4All‘ in partnership with the Observatoire pour la Promotion du Droit à la Différence.

Findings of the evaluation

Overall findings of the report indicate that this programme was developed and implemented at a critical time while Tunisia was going through a consecutive storm of political instability. Against this background, the programme was well positioned as a civil society instrument that helped the realization and implementation of the new law No.50/2018 against racial discrimination (which had not passed into law when the programme was designed). The evaluation also found that the programme adopted a holistic approach to build the foundational capacities of civil society, media and lawyers to push for equality more generally, and for the application of the law No.50. While in the same time, pushing for other legal reforms with regard to sexual minorities and the establishment of an implementation mechanism for the new law (the National Commission Against Racial Discrimination).

The programme was flexible in adapting to the needs of victims of discrimination after integrating the work on legal aid as part of the programme interventions (which was not initially planned). The active role of MRG and PAD in international accountability platforms, to assess the commitments of the Tunisian government against international human rights instruments, especially those related to minority rights, was regarded as a great success of this programme.

Evaluation findings of activities included:

  • The programme activities, trainings, implementation of the PAD, joint advocacy activities and others, have contributed to the dissemination of an anti-discrimination culture and raising awareness among the partners, as well as other beneficiaries, of the extent of discrimination, effective ways to tackle it and the importance of collaboration;
  • The organisations and groups engaged in the first and second round of sub-granting for the allocation of PAD benefitted from a number of significant capacity development interventions which enabled them to maximize their impact at the activity level as well as enhance internal reporting processes;
  • The allocation of budget was deemed to be very efficient, and programme management adapted programme elements to new highlighted needs of minority groups around the legal aid and legal clinic as well as to respond to Covid-19 restrictions;
  • The programme set the standard for monitoring reports, referral, and legal assistance for victims, which will be a benchmark for any future similar programmes or activities taken by any PAD members;
  • Activities for journalists were carried out and corresponded to the expectations raised by the trained journalists. However, it is difficult to consider that these activities effectively achieved the specific objective of the programme, since most of the selected journalists were not active in media institutions.

Main recommendations

  • Engaging judges and law enforcement agencies (police) in the training on law No.50 and human rights in general, as well as drafting and distribution of guidelines for other government institutions around the application of the law;
  • PAD members should institutionalise the referral mechanism/system trialled by this programme as a standard service to be provided to victims of discriminations. MRG should encourage PAD members to create and publish geographical/thematic mapping of relevant service providers with special focus on psychosocial support and legal aid; PAD members and MRG should also sustain the production of annual monitoring report for cases of discriminations.

Access the full evaluation

Who was our partner?

Our partner was Damj, a Tunisian organization working towards justice and equality.

Who funded this programme?

This programme was funded by the European Union.

Find out more

This programme was continued by the ‘All4All’ programmes – read about them here and here.

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